Abu Dhabi likely to remove quarantine rules for international travelers

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi authorities are likely to remove COVID-19 quarantine restrictions for international travelers from July 1 to boost the Emirates tourism sector, local media reported.

According to the current regulations, effective May 3, 2021, vaccinated travelers arriving from ‘green’ countries must take a PCR test on arrival and on day 6, without the need to quarantine.

“How we are going to move forward in 2021 … Abu Dhabi will be open for everyone with no quarantine protocol starting from July 1,” Ali Al Shaiba, executive director of tourism and marketing at the emirate’s Department of Culture and Tourism, told the National.

“With the ease of restrictions and travel, we will tap into international and try to get that market share as well,” said Ali Al Shaiba.

More than hotels, easing the quarantine decision is a great relief to airlines such as Etihad Airways, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. “We are working alongside these airline partners to increase frequency and capacity from source markets,” he added. “Wherever we see, there is an opportunity to increase the numbers (tourists).

Currently, there are 22 countries on the emirate’s green list, which allows travel without quarantine for travelers from those destinations.

Al Shaiba said that the list will be expanded until the beginning of the third quarter.

He said a few more countries could be added this week.

Those coming from countries with high infection rates will have to undergo two tests – one before travel and one on arrival.

“People who will come from low-risk countries will take just one test, either before or after they land in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

Travelers from India, the emirate’s second-largest source market after the UK and second-largest population in the world, will still need to be quarantined.

The latest green list countries are:

  • Australia
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Greenland
  • Hong Kong (SAR)
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan (ROC)
  • Tajikistan
  • United Kingdom
  • Uzbekistan