Coronavirus: UAE limits family gatherings, weddings, funerals to 10 people

A wedding bridal party file photo. (Shutterstock)

Only 10 immediate family members can attend social events and gatherings in the United Arab Emirates, health authorities said on Friday as they outlined the latest coronavirus safety protocols.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

In a post on Twitter, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said that weddings and other family occasions must be limited to only 10 “first degree attendees of both families.”

Guests are also required to conduct a COVID-19 test 24 hours prior to the event as a precautionary measure.
NCEMA added that buffets are not permitted and recommended using disposable utensils and cups in order to prevent spreading or contracting the virus.


Funerals, prayers limited to 10

The same rules also apply to funerals and related services including prayers and burials.

The number of people responsible for digging a grave has been reduced to only two and pallbearers are limited to between four and eight, according to the latest rules. Authorities are also requiring all tools be disinfected before and after a burial.

NCEMA urged frequent handwashing and the use of disinfectants that contain at least 60 to 80 percent alcohol.

Meanwhile, workers in cemeteries are required to wear a face mask at all times and must disclose any respiratory symptoms, including coughing, and avoid attending the funeral.


Authorities monitoring, imposing fees

The relevant authorities will be monitoring events to ensure all rules are followed by attendees and venues, according to NCEMA. Anyone caught violating the guidelines will be subject to fines.

Organizers are responsible for ensuring there is a distance of at least two meters between individuals, it said. An isolation room must be prepared in case there is a suspected COVID-19 cases in attendance.

Organizers are also expected to advise people with chronic pre-existing conditions as well as the elderly to not attend events as a precautionary measure against spreading the virus.

The UAE has recently seen a spike in daily new COVID-19 cases, having recorded its highest daily toll since the start of the pandemic on Saturday last week.

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Last Update: Saturday, 19 September 2020 KSA 13:16 - GMT 10:16
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