Gatherings still banned in UAE

Those not committing to the safety measures face fines and even imprisonment

  
Dubai authorities intensify precautionary measures at labour camps to safeguard the health and wellbeing of blue-collar workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Dubai authorities intensify precautionary measures at labour camps to safeguard the health and wellbeing of blue-collar workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Authorities in the UAE have observed an increase in the number of violations of Covid-19 precautionary measures after the night-time movement restrictions were lifted, a top official has said. This includes failure to wear masks, hosting gatherings and non-adherence to social distancing guidelines.

Salem Al Zaabi, acting chief of prosecution of the Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee at the Federal Public Prosecution, said: “Following the completion of the National Sterilisation Programme, unfortunately we noticed an increase in violations of safety and health instructions put in place by the UAE Government to curb the spread of Covid-19.”

Last week, authorities announced lifting all movement restrictions, letting residents step out of their homes at any time of the day. Earlier, they were required to stay in between 11pm and 6am in Dubai and 10pm and 6am in all other emirates.

“Despite the end to the sterilisation programme, return to normalcy is not danger-free and our gradual journey continues with caution and care.”

Al Zaabi warned that those not committing to the safety measures face fines and even imprisonment. “The fine will be doubled for those found repeating the violation. Third-time offenders could face up to six months in jail and/or a minimum fine of Dh100,000.”

No gatherings

The official reiterated that gatherings remain prohibited in all public and private places including homes, offices, farms and malls.

Family visits should be limited to first-degree family members only, he said.

“This should be done taking into account social distancing protocols, especially with the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.”

He added that the public prosecution is keen on preserving the gains made so far and therefore “the list of fines and penalties — as announced earlier — remains in force”.

“We urge the citizens and residents to comply with the instructions issued by the UAE health and security authorities and to follow social distancing guidelines,” Al Zaabi said.

Dr Amna Al Dahhak Al Shamsi, spokesperson for the UAE government, urged residents to realise their role in keeping the country safe. “With the gradual return to normal life, the largest and most important role of everyone remains the commitment to following instructions and procedures in order to not undo the efforts of all government entities and society so far.”

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