Residents who availed of a rapid testing facility for Covid-19 to enter Abu Dhabi received their test results within five minutes, they told a local newspaper. A facility to conduct the Dh50 tests has been set up just before the Ghantoot border checkpoint.
Residents and tourists without a Covid-negative result can enter Abu Dhabi after undergoing the rapid test at the facility set up near the last exit on the Sheikh Zayed Road.
The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee and the Department of Health said they have implemented a laser-based technique at the facility. A negative result will allow entry to Abu Dhabi, while those testing positive will need to undergo a PCR test, the emirate’s media office said.
“Those who undergo a PCR test must return to their residence and avoid contact with others until their results are available. Meanwhile, travellers with a negative result of the usual Covid-19 test will continue to be allowed entry within 48 hours from receiving the result,” the media office added.
Residents have welcomed the move, saying it would ease travel to the emirate.
Dubai-based Emirati Mohammed Hassan took the rapid test on Monday. He said it took him “less than five minutes” to get a Covid-19 negative result. He was travelling to Abu Dhabi for a business meeting.
“I have been hesitant to travel to Abu Dhabi because of the Covid-19 restrictions. I have been communicating with my business partners on the phone and through social media and emails,” said Hassan. “But when a friend told me about the new facility, I decided to travel to Abu Dhabi. The services at the facility are good. I received my results and a certificate, which I presented to authorities, after which I was allowed to enter the Capital without any issues.”
Martin Menon, an Indian resident of Dubai, said his wife stays in Abu Dhabi and he was finding it difficult to visit her because of the Covid-negative result requirement. “I am happy with this new testing facility. It makes life easy for residents like us because we can get a Covid-19 test result within minutes and at a reasonable cost,” said Menon.
Angel Martin, a Filipino resident of Dubai who has to commute to Abu Dhabi three times a week for work, said he had been staying at home due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions. “I am resuming my duties on Wednesday and I believe this new rapid testing facility will make my travel to Abu Dhabi easy. I was worried about having to undergo a regular PCR test which is expensive,” said Martin.
Abu Dhabi had imposed movement restrictions on June 2 to ensure mass Covid-19 testing in order to contain the spread of the virus. The movement to and from the emirate and between its regions was not allowed without a permit. Later, those with a Covid-negative result were allowed to enter the emirate. The negative test results must be shown via the AlHosn app or as a text message from any hospital or screening center in the UAE affiliated to the National Screening Program.