Residents stuck outside Abu Dhabi plan to take Covid tests to go home
Abu Dhabi - They should have received the results within 48 hours prior to their visit.
Abu Dhabi residents stuck outside the emirate since the movement restrictions were introduced say they plan to take Covid-19 test to finally go back home.
The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee announced on Monday that residents and visitors need a Covid-negative test result to enter Abu Dhabi. They should have received the results within 48 hours prior to their visit.
"I am glad I can finally go back home. I live in Al Ain with my family, but have been stuck in Dubai since the first day of Abu Dhabi introducing movement restrictions," Pakistani expat Hassan Aftab told Khaleej Times. He said he came to drop his uncle to Dubai on June 2 - the same day restrictions on entering and exiting Abu Dhabi was enforced by authorities.
"I hope I can get an appointment for the test and head back home soon," said Aftab, an advertising professional.
American expat D.C. from Abu Dhabi said "it is a relief" that he can head back home after spending almost 10 days in Dubai.
"I came to Dubai a week ago not knowing when the movement restrictions would be lifted. It's good to know that these restrictions have been lifted slowly to ensure everyone's safety and health," said D.C. who works in the education sector.
Abu Dhabi had imposed movement restrictions on June 2 to ensure mass Covid-19 testing to curb the spread of the virus. Movement to and from the emirate and between its regions was not allowed without a permit. Last week, the restrictions were partially lifted, with residents being allowed to move between the regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra). Residents were also allowed to travel out of Abu Dhabi, but were required to get a permit to enter back.
Some residents who spoke to Khaleej Times expressed concern about the mandatory Covid test as their family members need to regularly travel outside Abu Dhabi for work.
"My husband is a healthcare professional in Dubai but we are staying in Abu Dhabi. Initially when the moving ban was introduced, he was unable to leave Abu Dhabi for work," said Smitha, an Indian expat.
When Abu Dhabi lifted restrictions on exiting the emirate, Smitha said he went to work in Dubai and has not been able to return yet.
"If the test result is valid only for 48 hours, how can he come home daily or at least once in a week?" she asked.
Initially it was mandatory for residents to have a permit to enter Abu Dhabi and with the latest announcement it is not yet clear whether residents require both the entry permit and a Covid-negative test result.