First day of 2021, and let's check in on the current COVID-situation, why not!
To encourage further testing, the price of PCR tests was reduced in early December to AED 85 in all SEHA screening centers across Abu Dhabi. That is quite a change from the initial AED 370 cost, which was reduced first to AED 250 in September, and a few weeks later to AED 180.
At the same day, 9 December, Abu Dhabi very excitingly announced that most restrictions would be lifted within the next two weeks (and we all crossed our fingers around what that would mean); and Sweden finally proposed a temporary pandemic law, to be able to better control the outbreak.
What it meant was that Abu Dhabi opened its borders again for tourism on the 24 December. Although only travelers from the 'Green List' (which currently only have 16 countries on it, Greenland being the only European destination) can come here without having to do quarantine. Tourists from the rest of the world still has to do 10 days quarantine. So not much "tourism" going on just yet.
Coming into Abu Dhabi from the other emirates has gone back to requiring only two PCR-tests now, one at the border and one after 6 days. Hopefully this will go very soon so we can go see our friends in Dubai, we miss them.
Also, the school start for the Spring Term was just changed, with e-learning in place for all students for the first two weeks of term. My fear is that it will keep getting pushed back... and there will be no school face-to-face at all for the poor MYP grade students. It's all so frustrating, as EVERYTHING else is open. Everything. Large events are organised (yes, where people are urged to social distance, but come on...); and even more frustrating because life down the road in Dubai is so completely different to here - and we are supposed to be one country.
The numbers from today:
* 1,856 new cases today. Apparently the highest number of new cases since the start of the pandemic. Why they never present it percentage wise compared to the amount of tests, I don't know. This was from 145,163 tests.
* 1577 recovered cases, and 2 new deaths bringing the total of deaths to 671.
* Number of total diagnosed cases in the UAE stands at 209,678. Globally the cases are now at just over 83,5M with just over 1,8M deaths.