Dubai tightens coronavirus restrictions: Closes bars, reduces mall, hotel capacity

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Dubai tightened on Monday coronavirus restrictions on entertainment and leisure venues and activities, the latest in a series of measures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 amid a "marked increase" in the number of violations of precautionary measures.

Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management warned of penalties for violators and said it will intensify inspections to ensure compliance, in a statement carried by the Dubai Media Office.

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The new precautionary restrictions, to be enforced during the whole month of February, include:

Shutting down pubs and bars.

Reducing audience capacity of seated indoor venues, including cinemas and entertainment and sports venues, to 50 percent.

Reducing capacity at hotels to 70 percent.

Reducing capacity at shopping malls to 70 percent.

Restaurants and cafes will be required to close by 1:00 a.m. No entertainment activities will be allowed on the premises.

The new rules are the latest in government announcements ramping up coronavirus restrictions, including updating its travel protocols, limiting the number of people allowed in social gatherings and suspending elective medical procedures.

The UAE reached nearly 4,000 new coronavirus cases on January 28, the highest single-day new COVID-19 cases ever recorded in the country since the beginning of the pandemic. The numbers of daily infections in the UAE had been consistently rising since the beginning of January, crossing the 2,000 threshold for the first time on January 6, and the 3,000 mark on January 12.

On January 29, the number of daily cases dropped for the first time in three weeks and has continued to decrease since. The UAE reported 2,730 new coronavirus cases on Monday.

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