The United Arab Emirates will adjust its nightly curfew starting Saturday, May 30, official WAM news agency reported on Friday. The new timing for the national coronavirus disinfection drive will now last from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.
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The decision was made by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in order to allow people extra time to complete necessary tasks, according to WAM. It was also decided in an effort to help the economy slowly recover and revive the commercial activity in order to avoid disrupting basic important sectors in the country, WAM reported.
Grocery stores and pharmacies will still be allowed to operate 24 hours a day, as was previously announced.
Businesses are required to implement social distancing measures and operate at a 30 percent capacity in order to avoid crowding. Individuals are required to wear masks while in public and keep a distance away from others of at least 2 meters.
Public gatherings remain banned and family visits are discouraged for everyone's safety.
The country slowly began lifting restrictions in recent weeks following 24-hour curfews that were part of the national disinfection program.
The UAE has so far confirmed 33,170 cases; however, 17,097 of those infected have recovered so far. Meanwhile, the death toll remains relatively low with 260 fatalities.
Dubai reopens businesses, beaches as Abu Dhabi prepares for reopening
Earlier this month, Dubai allowed hotel beaches to open and outdoor tourism and sports activities for groups of five people or less following a period of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants and shops have also been allowed to operate but only with a 30 percent capacity in order to maintain social distancing. Parking spaces available at malls were reduced to a 25 percent availability to limit the possibility of overcrowding. Beauty salons have also been allowed to operate but on an appointment basis only, offering only hair and nail services.
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Dubai allowed gyms, cinemas and other businesses to reopen on Wednesday. Today, four beaches and major parks were open to the public for the first time in months.
Despite a national curfew that was set from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., business in the emirate have been allowed to operate until 11 p.m. since reopening, but they must comply with strict precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Neighboring Abu Dhabi last week issued guidelines for the reopening of hotels and their beaches, bars, restaurants, pools and gyms, which were previously shut under temporary measures aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.
Hotels in the capital will only be able to operate at 30 percent capacity, in measures similar to the current regulations at malls in the UAE. Staff will also be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to return to work.