Updated rules: Dubai ramps up coronavirus restrictions amid rising cases in UAE
Dubai began increasing coronavirus restrictions including updating its travel protocols, limiting the number of people allowed in social gatherings and suspending elective medical procedures, amid signs of a sustained upward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the UAE.
The UAE reported nearly 4,000 cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day new COVID-19 cases ever recorded in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The number of daily coronavirus infections in the UAE has been consistently rising since the beginning of January, crossing the 2,000 threshold for the first time on January 6, and the 3,000 mark on January 12.
The country's coronavirus tally currently stands at 289,087 confirmed cases, 263,730 recovered patients and 811 deaths.
Amid the continued rise in COVID-19 infections, Dubai’s authorities tightened restrictions in several sectors.
The travel and tourism hub updated its COVID-19 travel protocols for inbound passengers effective from January 31.
UAE citizens will be required to do a PCR test only on arrival in Dubai regardless of the country they’re coming from.
UAE residents, GCC citizens and visitors traveling to Dubai will need to do a pre-travel PCR test, irrespective of the country they are coming from. Arrivals from some countries (based on the COVID-19 situation there) may be required to undergo an additional test when landing in Dubai.
Validity period of PCR tests has been reduced from 96 hours to 72 hours.
Dubai updated coronavirus precautionary measures at private healthcare facilities on Wednesday.
In order to avoid crowds in health facilities, all appointments must be booked in advance.
There should be a minimum interval of 20 minutes between appointments.
Private health facilities have been instructed to close children’s play and entertainment areas so that they can disinfect all amenities in the facility with special attention given to the reception, patient waiting areas, consulting rooms, elevators and door handles.
Elective surgeries have also been suspended until February 19.
The list of elective surgeries includes but is not limited to neurosurgical procedures, fractures and corrective orthopaedic procedures, cardiological and radiological interventions, stone and urological stent removals, and other urgent procedures in general surgery, ophthalmology, paediatrics, obstetrics, gynaecology and other specialties. Elective dental procedures in some clinics have also been suspended.
Lifestyle and entertainment
Dubai instructed gyms to increase physical distancing between sports equipment and trainees from 2 to 3 meters.
Restaurants and cafes have been instructed to increase distance separating tables from 2 to 3 meters and reducing the number of patrons at one table.
The number of attendees at weddings, social events and private parties has been limited to a maximum of 10 people only.
Dubai put all entertainment permits issued on hold pending evaluation after the authorities shut down at least 20 establishments during the last three weeks for coronavirus violations. It did not specify which activities and/or events were suspended.
source: Tuqa Khalid
Image source: Reuters