Refresher On All COVID-19 Regulations In Dubai As Of January 2021


With COVID-19 becoming prominent in the UAE, rules and regulations have been put into effect since March 2020. Since then, the vaccines have been made available to the public and many regulations eased. Many are left confused with what the rules are as of January 2021.

Here is your refresher course on all COVID regulations in Dubai right now

5. Capacity in stores, offices, attractions, and dining venues

The latest update on the number of people allowed per table at restaurants has increased from 5 to 8. Restaurants still must apply barriers between close proximity tables and enforce social distancing between the tables.

As for social events, the number of people allowed at hotel ballrooms are not to exceed 200. In large homes or tents, the number of people permitted should not exceed 30 people. Social distancing must be practiced so ensuring the venue is large enough for the number of people, is advised. Only 5 people are permitted at a table and the event should not last for more than 4 hours.

Offices, Dubai shopping malls, and private sector businesses all operate at 100% capacity.


4. PCR testing to travel to Abu Dhabi and outside the country

Those traveling to Abu Dhabi from Dubai must show a negative PCR or DPI test result, taken no more than 72 hours before departure. For those visiting or staying in Abu Dhabi, they must complete a PCR or DPI test on the 6th day.

Passengers arriving to Dubai from the following countries are exempt from doing the PCR test prior to departure. Instead, they are allowed to only do the complimentary PCR test provided at Dubai International Airport:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain
  • Oman
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany

Passengers arriving to Dubai from other countries must show a negative PCR test result taken no more than 96 hours before departure. They must also be tested again at Dubai International Airport upon arrival for free.

3. Quarantine regulations for those diagnosed and close contact

If you have received a positive PCR test result, you must quarantine for 14 days and take a PCR test on the 14th day. However, if one tests positive but is asymptomatic or has light symptoms, they may quarantine for 10 days but can only stop isolating after presenting 2 negative COVID test results that are more than 24 hours apart.

If you’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive, the quarantine period is then only 10 days. The new shortening of quarantine periods has been updated on January 5, 2021.

If you have arrived to Dubai from another country, you don’t need to quarantine or self-isolate as long as you present a negative COVID result.

2. Number of passengers in a vehicle are still 3

Only three passengers are allowed in a vehicle at once, including the driver. However, there are only 2 exceptions. One exception is when a party of 4 travel together in a Hala Taxi Van due to the 2 row seating. Face masks must be worn throughout the journey. The second exception is when members of the same family travel together, they can exceed 3 people.

1. Masks are still mandatory

Face masks must be worn in all public areas unless seated at a dining venue. If you are caught not wearing a mask in public, you will be fined AED3000. Some people however, are exempt from wearing masks in public places:

  • Those suffering from severe allergic reactions from the mask or other skin diseases
  • Those suffering from chronic sinusitis
  • People of Determination who suffer from mental or psychological conditions
  • Those suffering from uncontrolled asthma
  • Those with severe herpes simplex infection around the mask placement area

There are other exceptions where masks can be removed; if you are alone in a vehicle, you may remove your mask or if you are traveling with live-in family members. You may also not wear a mask when you are exercising in the gym or in public areas.


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