Coronavirus: Dubai to allow Ramadan family gatherings, exercise outdoors

Ramadan, at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) in Dubai, UAE May 17, 2019. (Reuters)

Dubai residents will be permitted to leave the house to visit family or perform one activity during Ramadan, according to new guidelines issued by the city’s Department of Economic Development (DED) Wednesday.

The guidelines set out by the DED have not yet been enforced and outline the procedures for stage one of Dubai’s exit from the 24-hour lockdown it has imposed to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. However, with Ramadan expected to begin tonight, the document’s reference to “Social and Cultural Values Precautions during Ramadan: Restrictions and Protocols” will likely come into force within the next 24 hours.

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“Family visitation and one outdoor activity can be performed as per the set parameters,” says the document. If implemented, these new guidelines will significantly ease the lockdown in Dubai, allowing residents to meet up with family and go for a jog on a daily basis.

Read more: Coronavirus: Dubai outlines guidelines for malls reopening, including children ban

Ramadan family gatherings up to 10 people allowed

The document seems to announce an easing of the ban on nonessential social gatherings under the current 24-hour lockdown in Dubai.

While the guidelines continue to advise people to leave the house for “necessities only,” they explicitly permit “familiy visitation.”

The document also implies that gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed.

“Social distancing should be implemented during gatherings of less that 10 people and physical contact such as handshaking, hugging, etc is not allowed,” reads the document.

“Highly advised that gatherings are few and are restricted to extended family members or very close friends during futoor/suhoor,” it adds.

However, gathering for prayers remains forbidden. Household members are only allowed to pray together if they live in the same household.

Outdoor activity permitted once a day

Under the current 24-hour lockdown, Dubai residents are only allowed to leave their homes for emergencies, to buy essential groceries or medicine, or for select work purposes.

Under the new guidelines, “one outdoor acitivity” a day is permitted during Ramadan. The new measures therefore seemingly allow residents to go for a walk, run or cycle.

Anyone leaving their home must still wear a face mask and is advised to keep sanitizer with them at all times.

Read more:

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Coronavirus in UAE: Abu Dhabi considers re-opening malls with 30 pct capacity limit

Dubai Islamic Affairs cancels all permits for Ramadan tents amid coronavirus

Developing.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:07 - GMT 11:07
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