Coronavirus Q&A: 10 questions answered as Dubai eases its lockdown further

A woman holds a sign at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. (File photo: Reuters)

Dubai further eased its coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday, lifting the ban on residents above 60 or below 12 in malls, and allowing a range of facilities including swimming pools and museums to operate at full capacity.

The announcement comes in line with Dubai’s reopening plan, aimed at allowing economic and social life to resume in the emirate without triggering another wave of COVID-19 cases. So far, the plan appears to be succeeding, with the rate of infections falling over the last three weeks.

Read more: Categories, restrictions: All the facts about UAE allowing travel amid coronavirus

However, some COVID-19 restrictions still remain in place in the emirate, and the government continues to insist that residents follow the latest health advice.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

Here are some of the key questions answered.

People wearing protective face masks walk at Dubai mall, following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, May 3, 2020. (Reuters)

People wearing protective face masks walk at Dubai mall, following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, May 3, 2020. (Reuters)

When do the new guidelines become effective?

The new guidelines issued by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management come into effect on Thursday, June 18.

Which restrictions do the new guidelines ease?

Dubai had previously banned children under 12 and adults over 60 from entering malls in the emirate. These new guidelines remove that ban.

A range of facilities including swimming pools, museums, and water parks were also previously forced to operate at limited capacity. These new guidelines allow the following facilities to operate at full capacity:
• Swimming pools and all aquatic sports and venues
• Private museums, cultural centers, art galleries, and public libraries
• Water parks, pools, meeting rooms and kids’ clubs at hotels
• Home beauty services
• Care facilities for the elderly and people of determination
• Sports equipment and kids’ playground areas in public parks and beaches

Dubai Media Office also announced that the following activities can now be resumed:
• Outdoor tourism
• Fitness activities such as climbing
• Swimming pools
• Fitness centers
• Water parks and interactive water activities
• Cinemas (3D and 4D)

Can I take my children to the mall in Dubai?

Yes, from June 18, children are now allowed to go to the mall.

Are children’s play centers open in Dubai?

Yes, from June 18, kids’ playground areas are open in public parks and beaches.

However, it is not clear whether soft play centers will be open under the new regulations.

Can old people visit malls in Dubai?

Yes, people above the age of 60 are now permitted to visit malls in Dubai.

Do I still need to wear a face mask in Dubai?

Yes, face masks are still mandatory outside of the home in Dubai.

However, while face masks were previously compulsory in all situations, authorities have since made a number of exceptions. People can now temporarily remove their face masks when:
• Exercising
• Eating or drinking
• Swimming or skydiving
• Driving alone
• Undergoing certain medical treatments

Children under six and people with breathing disorders are also permitted to remove their masks.

What if I am caught not wearing a face mask?

The 1,000 dirham ($272) fine remains in place for not wearing a face mask, other than in the exceptions listed above.

Do my children need to wear face masks in public?

Children under six are exempt from wearing face masks. The normal rules apply to children above six.

Is there still a curfew? What time is the curfew in Dubai?

Yes, Dubai is still operating a curfew from 11 p.m. every night. Only people with permits can leave the house after 11 p.m. The curfew is lifted at 6 a.m., but exercise with a group of less than five people is allowed after the Fajr prayer from 4:30 a.m.

In the rest of the UAE, the curfew is in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

How long is the curfew going to last in Dubai?

Authorities have not yet given an end date for the curfew.

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Last Update: Thursday, 18 June 2020 KSA 15:23 - GMT 12:23
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