No vaccination against Covid, mandatory tests for millions of visitors

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Visitors to the Dubai World Expo will not be required to provide Covid vaccination certificates or get tested to participate in one of the largest in-person events in the world since the start of the pandemic.

The exhibit, which is expected to attract 25 million visits over six months, will however primarily require people to keep their masks on and adhere to social distancing rules, a spokesperson for the Expo told Bloomberg News.

“Although vaccination is encouraged, visitors to the Expo are currently not required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test,” the spokesperson said. “However, we will continue to monitor and adjust these measures as necessary as the situation evolves.”

Dubai, the business hub of the United Arab Emirates, is keen to show it is operational, after the pandemic hit hard on an economy based on international trade and finance. The UAE is open to all visitors as long as they provide a negative virus result, with some allowed to be tested at Dubai Airport after landing. They are expected to self-isolate until they get their results.

Dubai bets on rapid vaccine rollout to keep Expo 2020 on track

It has rolled out one of the fastest vaccination programs in the world, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker. Daily cases in the country have been below 1,000 a day since the end of August.

The Dubai Expo’s approach contrasts with those of other countries such as the United Kingdom, which has announced that it is considering requiring vaccine passports to access major sites, or France where the Constitutional Court has argued. Emmanuel Macron’s decision to require proof of vaccination or a negative test to eat in restaurants. or travel.

In neighboring Abu Dhabi, another of the United Arab Emirates’ emirates, some public spaces are reserved for people who have been vaccinated. Dubai, meanwhile, has remained wide open since coming out of lockdown over a year ago.

At the Expo site, dozens of checkpoints will ensure people provide a pass to enter, while visitors will be required to wear masks and adhere to strict social distancing regulations. Disinfection stations will be scattered around every corner.

The exhibit also uses robots and wearable technology to facilitate interactions with visitors, including ticketing and queuing. All staff around the Expo site have already received the two doses of the Covid vaccine.

Read: Dubai bets on vaccines to keep economy open as infections rise

Dubai in 2013 beat competition from countries like Brazil and Turkey to host Expo 2020. The world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, was lit up with fireworks in celebration.

The emirate has spent billions of dollars preparing an infrastructure that now resembles a small town spanning hundreds of football stadiums.

The exhibition, originally scheduled for October 2020, was expected to attract millions of visitors and boost the local economy. But as the pandemic struck, halting the global economy, the government postponed the event and reconsidered its targets.

“The Expo’s capital expenditure of 25 billion dirhams ($ 6.8 billion) had – and continues to have – a substantial economic impact,” the spokesperson said. “But Expo 2020 is much more than a global event investment. It has always been our intention to build a city of the future.”

(An earlier version of this story corrected the original date set for Expo 2020.)

(Updates with citation in last paragraph.)

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com

© 2021 Bloomberg LP

This story was posted from an agency feed with no text editing. Only the title has been changed.

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