Abu Dhabi will bring in new checks on commuters entering the emirate from Sunday, December 19 in the latest effort to tackle the coronavirus.

Scanners that spot signs that a person may have the coronavirus will be introduced at crossing points.

Drivers will be scanned by EDE devices, which are a common sight in the capital’s malls, as they cross the border. Officials did not say whether vehicles must stop but it appears likely and police will be deployed there from Sunday.

Anyone with signs that they may have the virus will be sent for a free rapid antigen which delivers results in about 20 minutes.

Drivers are not required to show a negative PCR test to enter Abu Dhabi, which was the case between July 2020 and September 2021.

“EDE scanners use advanced technology to rapidly detect potential Covid-19 cases without storing personal information. Potential positive Covid-19 cases will be referred to an on-site testing centre, with a free antigen test provided, and results within 20 minutes,” a government statement read.

Abu Dhabi’s government said cases remain extremely low, with just 0.05 per cent of the thousands of people tested daily found to have the virus.

In September 2021, a border checkpoint system Dubai that required drivers from Dubai to stop to show a negative Covid-19 test on an app was lifted after 14 months.

A border checkpoint on the E11 highway, near the town of Ghantoot, at the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border, remains in place after checks were dropped in September.

The capital continues to use the ‘green pass’ system using the government’s Al Hosn test and trace app.

People entering public places such as malls and public buildings show they are fully vaccinated and have had a recent negative PCR coronavirus test.

Officials recorded 148 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, nearly three times the daily figure last week.

The number remains low compared to much of the past year, and with more than 90 per cent of the population fully vaccinated.

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