Emirati authorities announced on Wednesday, May 13, that the reopening of parks and hotel beaches will be allowed in Dubai; however, no more than five people are permitted to gather together, as the UAE begins the easing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management is further allowing the refund and return of goods and the use of fitting rooms in shopping malls and retail outlets. Furthermore, tram and ferry services have also resumed operations. Mosques, cinemas, public beaches, and nightclubs remain closed.
Additionally, Emirates has announced plans to resume flight operations to nine destinations from Thursday, May 21, including London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, and Melbourne, subject to government approval. Eligibility and entry criteria requirements will apply to individuals wishing to book the flights.
Abu Dhabi authorities eased some measures in place on Monday, May 11, permitting residents to leave their homes during the curfew hours of 22:00 to 06:00 (local time), provided they request a permit beforehand. Permits are to be issued for essential journeys, such as visiting a supermarket, pharmacy, or hospital, and can be applied for from the Abu Dhabi Police. Abu Dhabi had previously allowed the reopening of malls, cafés, and restaurants, as well as the resumption of public transportation. However, the curfew will remain in place for the duration of the month of Ramadan, ending on Saturday, May 23, and those found to be violating the measure may be subject to a Dh 2000 fine.
As of Thursday, May 14, health authorities have confirmed 21,084 COVID-19 cases and 208 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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.
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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