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Covid-19 in UAE: Movement Restrictions Lifted as Sterilization Programme is Complete

Commencing March 26 and originally intended to last three days, the UAE’s National Sterilization Programme, as of Wednesday, June 24 has now come to an end. While strict rules regarding social distancing and personal protective equipment are to stay in place, movement restrictions have been lifted across all seven emirates; most notably now allowing children under the age of 12 to enter malls, restaurants, and commercial centers.

Including myriad facilities across public and private sectors, the sterilization programme worked in conjunction with a daily curfew, oscillating between the hours of 10pm to 6am. Residents intending to leave their homes were only prohibited to do so if it was in relation to essential work; such as buying groceries and medicines or going for a health check-up. While these restrictions are no longer in place, Dr Saif Al Dhaheri of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority notes that precautions must be taken. “We stress that public gatherings are still prohibited, and avoidance of family visits is preferable to ensure the health and safety of all, commitment to social spacing, wearing masks and gloves when leaving the house,” he says.

Among the measures to be adhered to; Al Dhaheri notes that a maximum of three people are allowed to travel in a car at the same time, with the exception of members of the same family. Moreover, if there is more than one person in a car, masks must be worn at all times. Confirming that penalties and fines will be imposed on those who violate the guidelines, Al Dhaheri calls on members of the public to take accountability and responsibility for their actions saying, “we call on all members of society to continue following all precautionary and preventive measures in the face of the #Covid19 pandemic.”

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