Visitors to the Dubai World Expo must now provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or to be tested to take part in the event.
Visitors to Dubai’s World Expo must now provide Covid vaccination certificates or be tested to enter the event, according to new rules issued days after organizers said vaccinations were not necessary.
Visitors must now provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours, the organizers of Expo 2020 said on Wednesday. Those who have not been vaccinated and have not been tested can get a free PCR test at the event.
The move would be a shift from last week when organizers said they encourage ‘vaccination’, but that visitors should not provide proof of immunization or a negative PCR test. The Expo is one of the largest personal events in the world since the start of the pandemic and is expected to attract 25 million visits over six months.
In the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, masks are a must in all public places, and most occasions require negative tests or vaccination proofs. The number of cases in the Gulf has fallen below 1,000 a day since the end of August.
“As we prepare to welcome tourists to the UAE and visitors to Expo 2020, we must build on our successes in combating Covid-19,” Reem Al Hashimy, Director-General of the event, said in the statement. “This improved measure is responsible, agile and essential as we prepare to open our doors to the world.”
The Expo, initially for October 2020, was intended to attract millions of visitors and give a boost to the local economy. But when the pandemic struck and the world economy stopped, the government postponed the opportunity and reconsidered its goals.
(Updates with details of Expo 2020 statement throughout.)