What the latest coronavirus updates in Dubai mean for you
From airport closures to shopping for groceries…
We’re only halfway through the week, but we’ve already seen a number of major announcements from authorities, as they attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the UAE.
To help keep you up to date on the coronavirus measures in Dubai, we’ve highlighted some of the most important regulations, closures and requests.
Flights and airports
This is a big one: starting tomorrow, Thursday March 26, Dubai’s airports will close for two weeks. This applies to all passenger flights and transits through Dubai airports, although according to the Dubai Airports website, vital cargo and emergency evacuation flights will continue to operate.
Yesterday, Dubai Municipality announced that all restaurants and cafes would close for two weeks, with a couple of exceptions: hotel restaurants can serve in-house guests, and you can still order delivery from your favourite eatery.
As part of preventive measures, all restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, coffee shops and food service establishments across Dubai will be closed for two weeks starting from today Monday 23 March, 2020. pic.twitter.com/agkeWAX4KC
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) March 23, 2020
Today is the last day of trading for the UAE’s malls, shopping centres and fish, meat and vegetable markets, which must now close for two weeks. There are some notable exceptions here, including supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies, which will remain open.
In regard to the decision to shut for two weeks shopping centres, we want to draw the attention of the general public that the decision excludes groceries, supermarkets, cooperative societies and pharmacies that are inside or outside of the shopping centres.#WamNews pic.twitter.com/xFRqcdVya5
— WAM English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) March 23, 2020
The UAE authorities are going to great lengths to advise people to stay at home, specifying that we should only head outside for essential work, groceries, medicines, or in case of emergency.
The ‘essential work’ clause is a bit of a grey area, however, as some workplaces still require their employees to be present, while others have begun work-from-home arrangements.
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If you do need to venture out, the Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority urge people to “use their own family cars with a maximum of three individuals per vehicle,” according to a statement on the state news agency, WAM.
If you have to use public transport, practice social distancing, don’t touch your face, and wash well when you get home.
Beaches, pools and parks
Private and public beaches, pools and parks are now closed across the UAE, with police patrolling the areas. And while it might be tempting to step outside for a jog on that empty promenade, you’d be better off trying one of these online workouts in your living room, as the Ministry of Interior has advised there will be penalties for those who disregard the advice to stay at home.