All stay at home, all flights halted, malls closed

By DG Staff

UAE 23 March 2020: The UAE government has urged the public to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or perform essential jobs.

In a joint statement tonight, the Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority urged UAE citizens, residents, visitors and all those living in the nation, to comply with the instructions and guidelines issued by competent health and security authorities, primarily limiting social contacts and avoiding crowded places to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

“The public are also urged to use their own family cars with a maximum of three individuals per vehicle. They are also advised not to visit public places and maintain social distancing protocols during family gatherings as part of the precautionary measures taken to ensure public health and safety,” added the statement.

The two authorities also urged everyone not to visit hospitals except for critical or emergency cases and to use face masks.

“Additional instructions will be issued later involving the use of public transport, taxis and other means of transportation,” said the statement.

The UAE law on communicable diseases, which includes fines and jail terms, will be enforced against all violators, added the statement.

Shopping centres closed for two renewable weeks

The UAE has decided to close all commercial centres, and shopping malls along with fish, meat and vegetables markets for a renewable period of two weeks.

In a statement today, the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said the decision will take effect after 48 hours, and will be subject to review and re-assessment.

The decision excludes pharmacies, and food retail outlets, including cooperative societies, grocery stores, and supermarkets, along with fish, meat and vegetables markets dealing with wholesalers.

Under the decision, restaurants will not be allowed to receive customers. Instead, their services will be limited to home deliveries only.

All flights, except cargo, suspended

The National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management and the Civil Aviation Authority have decided to suspend all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of airline passengers in the UAE for two weeks as part of the precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19.

The decision, which is subject to re-assessment, will take effect in 48 hours.

The CAA said cargo and emergency evacuation flights would be exempt, taking into consideration all the precautionary measures adopted as per the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

“Additional examination and isolation arrangements will be taken later should flights resume in order to ensure the safety of passengers, air crews, and airport personnel and their protection from infection risks,” said the statement to Wam.

Abu Dhabi closes fitness centres, health clubs

As part of the country-level precautionary measures taken to stem the transmission of Covid-19, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has sent a circular directing all health clubs, fitness centres, and bodybuilding halls across the emirate to temporarily suspend operations until end of March 2020.

Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of ADDED, said the new decision is part of the additional steps taken by the government of Abu Dhabi to curb the spread of the novel virus outbreak.

“All departments concerned have to ensure compliance and immediate enforcement of the new decision,” he added, noting that ADDED’s inspection teams will carry out field campaigns and take legal action against the violators, said Wam.

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