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UAE Capital Abu Dhabi Makes Booster Shots Mandatory for Entry - BLOOMBERG

JANUARY 18, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- The oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates has made booster doses mandatory for entry as the Gulf nation battles a renewed surge of infections driven by the omicron variant.

Starting this week, people traveling to Abu Dhabi will need to have booster doses to enter unless exempted by the authorities. The latest move comes just weeks after the emirate said vaccinated individuals will require a green status on a mobile health app to enter. That green status will now only appear following a booster dose.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the latest requirement also applies to neighboring Dubai, which has generally had fewer restrictions through the pandemic. 

Cases have surged in the UAE since the omicron variant was first reported in December. The country reported 2,792 cases on Tuesday. 

Before the new variant emerged, the country had managed to keep cases under control for most of this year. De facto ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared the crisis over in October as infections fell below 100 a day for the first time since the pandemic began.

So far, the UAE has managed to avoid restrictions, unlike most major cities around the world. Speaking on Bloomberg TV last week, Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al-Zeyoudi last week ruled out a full lockdown.

Staying open has attracted a variety of business and sporting events to the UAE, helping fuel a faster-than-expected economic recovery, especially in the trade and tourism hub of Dubai -- currently host to Expo 2020.

The UAE has one of the world’s highest rates of vaccination, and has administered booster doses to about 42% of its population of 10 million. The country also has one of the highest per capita testing rates in the world, with just under half a million tests administered over the past day.


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