The UAE has been witnessing a rise in the number of daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations, prompting authorities to tighten regulations, including a heavy penalty for those not wearing masks in all indoor places.

"We are witnessing a significant increase in COVID-19 infections in the country by more than 100 percent in less than a week. It was also noted that the rate of hospitalisation has increased," Dr Taher Al Buraik Al Amiri, the official spokesman for the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), said.

Infections in the UAE have more than doubled in a week. On Monday, 1,319 infections were reported.

"We would like to remind you that wearing masks in closed places is mandatory. Failing to wear a face mask is an offence according to the Public Prosecution Decision No. (38) of 2020 that incurs a fine of up to AED 3,000. The competent teams will impose close monitoring," Al Amiri said.

Under the new rules, the validity of the Green Pass on the UAE's official Alhosn app for COVID-19 registry has been reduced to 14 days from 30 days. "This decision aims to ensure the accuracy of the early detection process and encourage periodic examinations. The green pass update decision will be activated for all groups starting from Wednesday, June 15, 2022. The same will be activated for workers in the educational sector and students on Monday June 20, 2022, after the completion of the examination period," the NCEMA spokesman said.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)