HomeUAEAbu Dhabi offering COVID vaccines to tourists

Abu Dhabi offering COVID vaccines to tourists


ABU DHABI, 22 June — The emirate of Abu Dhabi is offering free COVID-19 vaccine jabs to tourists and visitors after it approved the inoculation of all those with visas issued by the UAE authorities, Economic Times reported.

While it did not officially announced the vaccination of tourists, the authorities in Abu Dhabi said in a brief statement earlier this month that it approved free COVID-19 vaccines for everyone with an entry visa.

Social media groups have lit up with enquiries as to how tourists could navigate the vaccination system, which was previously only open to UAE residents holding a locally issued identity card.

According to the report, Abu Dhabi’s healthcare app has now a facility for visitors to register either for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or the Chinese vaccine Siopharm.

The app features two separate tabs; one for Emiratis and residents, and the other for visitors.

Visitors can book appointments using their passport information on the app, which states that those with an Abu Dhabi-issued visa or with passports “eligible for visa on arrival” can register to be vaccinated.

When contacted by AFP, the Abu Dhabi authorities did not provide further details on the initiative.

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis, and Disasters Committee said in a June 11 statement that it had also approved the vaccination of those with expired entry visas or residency permits “for their safety and health and in consideration of the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic”.

The UAE has launched an energetic vaccination drive with some of the highest inoculation rates worldwide.

While life in the Gulf country has largely returned to normal, with restaurants and hotels open, it continues to enforce strict rules on wearing masks and social distancing.

Dubai was one of the first destinations to open its doors to travellers, allowing tourists into the emirate in July last year, just a few months after the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, has been more cautious, opening up to visitors only in December.

Source: The Economic Times/Agencies


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