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Covid-19: Abu Dhabi suspends Al Hosn green pass over glitches

Khaleej Times logo Khaleej Times 18/06/2021 Ashwani Kumar
a man holding a sign: Covid-19: Abu Dhabi suspends Al Hosn green pass over glitches © Provided by Khaleej Times Covid-19: Abu Dhabi suspends Al Hosn green pass over glitches

The UAE Capital has temporarily suspended the use of 'green pass' in Abu Dhabi as the local authorities are fixing technical issues in Al Hosn app.

The 'green pass' Covid-19 safe entry protocol was implemented from Tuesday but a surge in subscriptions led to app outage since Thursday. And on Friday morning, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee issued a notice temporarily suspending the use of 'green pass' to enter most public places.

"The green pass will be reinstated after completing the app update and ensuring the continuity of the app service for all users," the committee said.

The pass - a proof of Covid-19 vaccination and RT-PCR negative test result - was a mandatory requirement to enter malls, supermarkets, hotels, public parks, restaurants and cafes, gyms, beaches, entertainment centres, cinemas and museums.

Managers of different malls said shoppers and visitors no longer required any proof to enter any facilities.

"We received a circular from the local authorities. We are back to pre-June 15 regulations. So, we have thermal scanners in place to check body temperature. People are required to wear masks and follow safe distances," said a manager of a mall in Abu Dhabi City.

A manager of a supermarket pointed out that there was less footfall compared to last weekend.

"We had an excess sale during the last weekend and days leading to implementation of 'green pass'. Comparatively the number of customers is low. This is mostly because of lack of awareness. People are just getting to know that there are no restrictions of PCR test results, and they can simply walk-in like before. The footfall should rise by evening and Saturday," the manager said.

A hotel manager pointed out that the suspension is until further notice.

"We have received a circular saying not to check Al Hosn app status of any guests. We are operating normally. We check the body temperature of our guests. I think the app should be fixed soon and the 'green pass' system will be back," said the manager of a luxury hotel.

Most facilities took to social media to spread the word about suspension of 'green pass'. The British Embassy too tweeted about the suspension as a travel advisory for the UAE.

However, people who are entering Abu Dhabi from other emirates still need to show a message as proof of a negative RT-PCR test result.

The local authorities said the suspension will continue until the app is updated. Khaleej Times had earlier this week reported about the issues faced by Al Hosn app users. While some residents have their second dose reflecting as the first one, there are cases where a third dose has been updated on the app even though the person has not taken a booster shot.

The number of new infections dropped below 2,000 for the first time since implementation of the 'green pass' on Tuesday. On Friday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced 1,942 new infections - the lowest since June 15. The ministry also conducted 253,077 tests over the past 24 hours, which is the most recorded this week. However, six deaths because of Covid-19 complications were also reported.

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee urged community members not to let their guards down as the suspension continues. "The green pass will be reinstated after completing the app update and ensuring the continuity of the app service for all users. The committee appealed to the public to continue to adhere to preventive and precautionary measures, stressing that their safety is a top priority."

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