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07 May 2020 | 10:47 AM UTC

UAE: Authorities prohibit children and elderly in retail establishments amid COVID-19 pandemic May 7 /update 33

United Arab Emirates News Alert

UAE authorities prohibit children and elderly in retail establishments amid coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic May 7; follow all authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/7/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/21/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Dubai). COUNTRY/REGION United Arab Emirates

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Event

On Thursday, May 7, UAE authorities announced that children and the elderly will not be allowed to enter shopping malls, supermarkets, and cooperative societies until further notice due to concerns of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The announcement was made following a determination from the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority that COVID-19 presents a higher risk to these demographics.

Previously, on Wednesday, April 29, Etihad Airways announced that it has extended the cancelation of all flights through Friday, June 15, due to the ongoing pandemic. Until June 15, Etihad will continue to operate a limited number of repatriation flights, after which it will resume services on a reduced schedule.

On Tuesday, April 28, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development published a set of comprehensive guidelines for commercial centers and shopping mall owners which can facilitate the opening of such businesses. If the measures are followed, which include the use of gloves, masks, accepting card payments exclusively, and social distancing measures, such businesses will be permitted to reopen. The announcement also stated that all employees returning to work in commercial centers or shopping malls must be tested for COVID-19. Anyone with a fever or high body temperature will not be permitted to enter and will be detected via thermal scanning cameras, which have been set up at the entrances of these centers. A nationwide nighttime curfew is in effect from 22:00 to 06:00 (local time) for the month of Ramadan, which began on Thursday, April 23, and will last until late May, likely between Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24.

As of April 23, cafés and restaurants in Dubai have been permitted to resume operations, and shopping malls are now allowed to open from 12:00 to 22:00 with a maximum capacity of 30 percent. Additionally, public transportation in the emirate has resumed as of Sunday, April 26.

Under lockdown regulations, members of the public who go out for walks, cycle, or drive for essential reasons such as purchasing food or medicine must apply for a permit at this website. Only one family member will be permitted to go out at any one time during the ongoing sanitation program, and those leaving their homes are to wear masks, gloves, and respect social distancing advice. Those working in vital sectors will be exempted from the restrictions.

To date, there have been 15,738 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country with 157 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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