Following the completion of the National Disinfection Programme on June 24, the UAE has seen a significant rise in active coronavirus cases across the country. Being deemed the result of reckless behavior, the spike has resulted in officials strengthening their stance on fines and other legal action. Taking to Twitter on Saturday June 27, Salem Al Zaabi, acting director of the Federal Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Prosecution said, “criminal prosecutions have been announced for violators including a six-month incarceration and/or minimum fine of AED 100,000 for repeat violators.” “Since marking the end of the National Sterilization Program, authorities have seen an increase in violators who are flouting the guidelines and being negligent to their health and the health of the nation,” the thread began.
There is serious concern that the violations from reckless and irresponsible individuals will undo all the success which has been achieved in the last few months in the battle against #Covid19.
— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) June 27, 2020
In the ten-part Twitter thread that outlined both the guidelines to be adhered to and the consequences to follow as a result of them being disregarded, Al Zaabi noted that the most important principle is still the utilization of face masks and social distancing. “We emphasize the need to adhere to wearing masks in public places, public transportation or commercial centers, when walking outside in public places with high density and in private transportation,” he said. “Social distancing must be maintained between people in public places, shopping centers, restaurants, swimming pools and beaches.”
Reminding members of the public that gatherings, either in public or private places, are strictly prohibited, Al Zaabi noted that family visits limited to first-degree relatives whilst permitted must follow social distancing measures, “especially with the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.” “Individuals should comply with compulsory hospitalization decisions for the injured, the procedures and instructions of quarantine; whether at home or in private facilities and re-examination instructions issued by the health authorities,” the thread concluded. While restrictions continue to be lifted following the spike in cases, the Ministry of Health and Prevention are currently administering north of 50,000 additional tests as part of their mass screening strategy.