Coronavirus: UAE to shut public transport, restrict movement from March 26-29

Commuters wear protective masks, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, on the metro in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 12, 2020. (Reuters)

The United Arab Emirates will shut down public transport and restrict movement during the course of the national campaign of sterilization of public facilities from 8 p.m. Thursday March 26 to 6 a.m. Sunday March 29, the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday.

“The Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Ministry of Interior decided, in coordination with all relevant federal and local institutions, to launch a ‘national sterilization program’ to completely sterilize all public facilities, public transportation and metro service during the weekend period, starting 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 26 until 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 29, 2020,” the ministry’s of health said in its statement.

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It added that: “Throughout this period, traffic and public movement will be restricted, and public transportation and metro service will be suspended.”

Dubai residents must stay at home except for food, medicine, essential work

The measures also stated that Dubai residents must stay at home except for going out to purchase food and medicine, or for health necessities or work in vital sectors.

Here is the latest list of what you are allowed to do in Dubai: Coronavirus do’s and don’ts: What are you allowed to do in the UAE?

“The Ministries of Health and Interior call upon the public to remain in their homes throughout the period of the national sterilization program, and not to go out except to purchase food and medicine requirements or for health necessity or work in the vital sectors which include: energy, communications, health, education, security, police, military, postal services, shipping, pharmaceuticals, the water and food sector, civil aviation, airports, passports, the financial and banking sector, government media and the services sector, which includes gas stations and construction projects.”

The ministries said the authorities will be enforcing the movement restriction by checking and verifying ID cards and business cards.

They also stressed that all food-selling outlets such as Union Societies, grocery shops, and supermarkets, as well as pharmacies will be allowed to operate 24/7. And called upon all members of society to fully comply with this decision within the specified time period.

There are currently 333 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UAE as of Wednesday, according to the ministry of health.

Coronavirus: Dubai launches 11-day disinfection campaign to sterilize streets, roads

Precautionary measures

All malls, shopping centers, commercial centers, and open markets except for fish, vegetable, and meat markets will be closed for two weeks, the Ministry of Health announced early on Monday.

Restaurants will also only be limited to delivery for the two-week period.

The UAE ordered on March 16 all hotels to close their pubs, bars, and lounges. Gyms, electronic gaming centers, and spring camps will also be closed until the end of the month.

Public beaches, swimming pools, cinemas, theme parks, and tourist attractions are also closed until the end of March.

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Last Update: 09:01 KSA 12:01 - GMT 09:01
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