Amid renewed demand for international travel as the Dubai World Expo 2020 prepares to welcome millions of visitors to the largest global gathering since the start of the pandemic, organisers have announced enhanced entry measures to ensure a safe and exceptional event.
Visitors aged 18 and over will be required to present proof of any vaccination recognised by their national government or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. Unvaccinated ticket holders who have not been tested within this period can test at the PCR testing facility adjacent to the Expo 2020 site. In the future, a network of testing centres will be available throughout the city and can be found on the Expo 2020 website. Upon presentation of any valid Expo 2020 ticket, along with a 1-day or multi-day Expo Pass, PCR testing will be free of charge.
Reem al-Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and CEO of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "The UAE continues to drive global tourism recovery, and Expo 2020 Dubai will be the only global gathering of this size and cultural diversity since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. By updating our vaccination and testing requirements, we are opening up a world of discovery and education for all visitors from all corners of the globe, allowing the world to experience Expo 2020's incredible offerings safely and securely."
"As we prepare to welcome tourists to the UAE and visitors to Expo 2020, we must build on our successes in the fight against COVID 19, where we have seen a nearly 84 per cent decrease in cases in the last eight months. Our commitment to the health and safety of all visitors, participants and staff will remain our number one priority. We will continue to follow the guidance of leading medical and scientific experts, adjusting our measures accordingly in our commitment to hosting an exceptional experience that everyone can enjoy. This enhanced measure is responsible, agile and necessary as we prepare to open our doors to the world," said Reem al-Hashimy.
The measures align with broader strategies in the UAE, including stringent COVID-19 measures and testing programmes operated by the UAE's world-class airports and ports. By September 2021, the UAE has administered nearly 19 million doses of vaccination and fully immunised 80% of its population. Dubai has experienced a steady influx of visitors since reopening to tourists in July 2020, with the emirate welcoming 2.85 million visitors in the first half of 2021, and numbers are expected to accelerate in the fourth quarter, boosted by Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE's Jubilee celebrations.
Dimitri Kerkentzes, secretary general of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos, said, "Dubai's effective strategy to manage COVID-19 has enabled Expo preparations to progress smoothly and the enhanced requirements announced by Expo 2020 organisers today strengthen Expo's goal of bringing everyone together to join in creating a new world." "In the face of the pandemic, our collective resolve for solidarity has only been strengthened as the UAE and all international participants have persevered in their commitment to deliver a safe and meaningful World Expo," he added.
The Expo's robust plans include mandatory vaccination of all staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers of international and Expo participants. At on-site sanitation stations, mandatory facemasks will be maintained both indoors and outdoors and a two-metre social distance will be maintained.
From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 will invite everyone to join in the creation of a new world as visitors reconnect through a six-month celebration of creativity, innovation, human progress and culture.
Text, video and photos: Expo Dubai 2020.