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Abu Dhabi bans gatherings, limits capacity in malls, beaches, restaurants

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The United Arab Emirates’ capital Abu Dhabi on Sunday imposed a new list of restrictions in an effort to curb the recent surge of coronavirus infections in the country, the Abu Dhabi Media Office announced.

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The new regulations will come into effect immediately, according to the media office’s circular.

Gatherings and parties will be strictly prohibited in the capital city, and movie theaters will be closed. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed to attend marriage ceremonies and family gatherings, the circular said.

A maximum of 20 people will be allowed to attend funerals and mourning services, it added.

Shopping malls will be limited to a 40 percent capacity, while restaurants, cafes, hotels, and public beaches and parks will be limited to a 60 percent capacity.

Private beaches and swimming pools will only be allowed to operate at a 50 percent capacity rate, the circular said.

Gyms must operate at a 50 percent capacity as a precautionary measure against the virus.

Taxis will be limited to a 45 percent capacity and buses to 75 percent, according to the circular.

The UAE has been reporting a surge of COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, with health officials recording over 3,000 new cases a day.

On Saturday, Abu Dhabi announced it would require government employees to undergo a weekly COVID-19 test as authorities reduce office attendance to 30 percent capacity.

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