UAE bans citizens from traveling abroad over coronavirus fears

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The UAE has temporarily banned its citizens from traveling outside the country starting Wednesday and until further notice, amid coronavirus pandemic fears, according to the foreign ministry.

Earlier the same day, several embassies in the UAE announced that Abu Dhabi will temporarily suspend issuing all visas on arrival, with the exception of diplomatic passports holders, from March 19.

The UAE had 86 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Saturday.

The UAE has moved to combat the spread of coronavirus by shutting down many public and private spaces.

Dubai has closed all hotel bars, pubs and lounges on Monday, in addition to previous suspensions of all theme parks, entertainment and wedding destinations, including night clubs, cinemas and concerts and all gyms, gaming centers, and spring camps. On Tuesday, restaurants were directed to close all open buffets and screen diners for flu-like symptoms.

The emirate shut down nine cafes for continuing to sell shisha despite a ban on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi has also closed key tourist attractions including the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

However, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the UAE was “infinitely” prepared to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

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