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UAE: PCR tests must for trial vaccine recipients who travel abroad

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The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee clarified on Wednesday when residents who have received the COVID-19 trial vaccine in the UAE and are travelling, need to be tested.

Two groups of people in the UAE have thus far been vaccinated with the COVID-19 trial vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm China National Biotec Group. One group, the vaccine trial participants, volunteered for the trials when they were launched in July. The other group — comprising mainly frontline workers and senior officials — have received the vaccine after it was granted emergency approval by the UAE Government on September 15, which is known as the National Vaccination Programme.

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The testing requirements apply to this group of people immediately after they receive the first dose. Once they get the first shot, trial participants no longer need to present negative COVID-19 test reports to enter Abu Dhabi.

However, if they have gone abroad, they must present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test report before their travel back to the UAE and must also undergo a PCR test upon arrival in the UAE. Unlike other travellers, they need not quarantine themselves for 14 days after arrival.

For this group of people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, the testing requirements become applicable 28 days after the second vaccine dose and not after receiving the first vaccine shot. From this point onwards, they will not need to present negative COVID-19 test reports in order to enter Abu Dhabi.

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If they have gone abroad, they must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test report before travel and undertake a PCR test on arrival, just like vaccine trial participants. However, they must also repeat the PCR test on Day 4 and Day 8, with the day they arrive and undertake the on-arrival PCR test counted as Day 1. But they do need not to be in quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

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