Coronavirus: Dubai announces two-week 24-hour curfew as disinfection continues

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Dubai's nighttime curfew has been extended to all day and all night for two weeks, subject to renewal, as the city continues its sanitation program to counter the spread of coronavirus, according to an announcement on Saturday by the emirate's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.

Since late March, the emirate has imposed strict restrictions on movement between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. as it seeks to sterilize the city. Starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, the curfew will now apply at all times, with stricter restrictions on movement imposed.

Members of the public are allowed to go out for essential needs only, such as buying food. Only one family member is permitted to leave the house. The committee added that legal action will be taken against violators.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority announced that its public bus services will be free of charge for individuals permitted to leave their homes during the extended two-week sterilization period. Additionally, Dubai Taxi vehicles & franchised taxis will offer a 50 percent discount.

Union cooperative outlets, supermarkets, pharmacies and food and medicine deliveries are also allowed to operate normally throughout the day.

Extensive medical tests will be conducted across densely populated areas in the emirate to ensure members of community are not affected by COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the previous 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew - originally set to expire - has been prolonged indefinitely in the rest of the UAE. Only Dubai currently has a 24 hour curfew.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Earlier on Saturday, Dubai announced the suspension of the services of the Metro and Tram in the emirate as of Sunday.

The UAE’s health ministry recommended that everyone should wear a mask while in public based on recent research that showed people with no symptoms can spread the virus.

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