Eid al-Adha 2022: UAE COVID-19 guidelines for worshippers, returning Hajj pilgrims

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The United Arab Emirates’ National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority on Monday outlined the COVID-19 guidelines for Eid al-Adha, which falls on July 9.

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Protocols for Eid prayers

Prayer halls and mosques will be open after the dawn prayers on Eid day, NCEMA said in a special press briefing on the matter, adding that Eid prayers and cermonies should not exceed 20 minutes.

Worshippers have been instructed to adhere to physical distancing protocols of one meter, to wear a face mask at all times, and use single-use or their own personal prayer carpets.

Stickers will also be placed outside mosques to ensure social distancing, and police patrols, volunteers, and imams will supervise the entry and exit of worshippers into the prayer areas of mosques on Eid day.

The authority also advised people to avoid large gatherings, handshakes, and physical personal greetings to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Worshippers were also advised to have Green Status on their Al Hosn apps and to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before the Eid holiday to ensure public safety.

“In order to be comfortable and at peace to enjoy [the Eid] with family members, especially the elderly, we recommend conducting a PCR laboratory test no later than 72 hours before Eid to ensure the health and safety of everyone,” NCEMA said in a statement on Monday.

Hajj pilgrims returning to the UAE

Hajj pilgrims were advised to adhere to the mandatory COVID-19 safety measures, such as wearing a face mask in public spaces at all times, and to avoid going out in public for the first seven days after their arrival back in the UAE.

Although it is optional, NCEMA advised returning pilgrims to take a COVID-19 test at the airport upon arrival, but added that it was mandatory to take a PCR test on the fourth day of arrival.

The authority urged pilgrims to refer to health authorities should they experience any COVID-19 symptoms or if they come into contact with a positive case.

Renewed call to use apps for Eid sacrifices

During Eid Al-Adha, Muslims traditionally buy a whole sheep to be slaughtered and distributed among friends, family and the poor.

The authority reiterated a previous advisory about dealing with legitimate livestock markets, slaughterhouses, and charities for Eid sacrifices, and urged the public to use smart apps to avoid overcrowding at markets.

“It was recently noticed that some neglected the application of precautionary and preventative measure related to the COVID-19 pandemic in public places,” NCEMA said. “We would like to highlight that the concerned authorities will tighten oversight and monitoring to ensure that the protocols announced in all regions of the country are not violated in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone.”

“As a country, the UAE has proven its readiness to tackle all challenges, and has reached many achievments and gains that have been witnessed by all. We are proud that the community played a leading role in achieving these gains and its commitment to all decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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