Do you have to wear a mask? The answers to all your UAE coronavirus questions here
As countries around the world ramp up their efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE has enforced several strict measures to contain the outbreak.
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Dubai on Saturday announced that the 10-hour curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. has been extended to a 24-hour curfew as the city continues its nationwide disinfection program. Residents must apply for a permit at https://dxbpermit.gov.ae/permits if they seek to leave the house.
So far, a total of 1,505 cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, and 10 deaths have been reported in the country.
Al Arabiya English answers your burning questions about the virus and the measures being enforced in the UAE here:
1. Does everyone have to wear a mask?
The Ministry of Health spokeswoman Dr. Farida al-Husseini advises everyone to wear a mask while in public after new research showed that people with no symptoms can spread the coronavirus.
Dr. Al Hosani urged the public to comply with the precautionary measures taken by #UAEGov to contain the spread the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to ensure public health and safety. Keep practicing social distancing and wear a mask whenever you go out. #UAEGov— UAEGov (@uaegov) April 6, 2020
2. Will supermarkets and grocery stores be closed?
Union cooperative outlets, supermarkets, and food deliveries will be allowed to operate normally throughout the day.
3. What if someone needs to go to a pharmacy or have medicine delivered?
Pharmacies and medicine deliveries will also operate normally all day.
4. Who is exempt from the curfew?
Individuals working in vital sectors are exempt from the curfew if they obtain a letter from their employer stating their movement to and from work.
The sectors include people who work in: healthcare services (hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies), food supply outlets (union cooperative outlets, supermarkets, groceries), delivery services (food and medicine), restaurants, manufacturers medicine and healthcare providers and medical supplies, industrial sector (vital industries only), water and electricity sector, petrol and gas stations and district cooling services, telecommunications sector, media sector, airports, airlines, ports, shipping, customs duty and border crossings, public and private security services, municipality services and public and private service providers (those involved in garbage collection, sewage management, general cleaning and sanitation), private and government sector organizations involved in combating COVID-19, public transport (buses and taxis only), construction sector (subject of obtaining a permit from Dubai Municipality and the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs), Industrial supply chain for services and basic commodities.
5. Are any other workers exempt from the curfew?
Employees working the following sectors are allowed to commute to work between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.: banking, finance, and currency exchange sectors, maintenance services, laundry services (for select outlets), and social welfare services.
6. Can an entire family go to the grocery store together?
No, only one family member is permitted to leave the house for essential needs.
7. Do I need to carry any documents with me when I leave the house?
If you are leaving the house for work, then you must carry a letter from your employer stating your movement to and from your work. People who leave their homes to get essential food, shop for medical supplies, or get tested for coronavirus will need to apply for a permit and must keep their receipts as proof if they are stopped by police or detected by a radar.
“The movement permit website is for general members of the public who are allowed to go out for essential needs such as buying food and medicine, medical emergencies and for COVID-19 testing.”
8. Where can I apply for a permit?
You can apply for a permit on the permit movement website launched by the Dubai Police: https://dxbpermit.gov.ae/home
9. Do I need to apply for a permit if I am walking or riding my bike to the grocery store?
If you are walking or riding your bike to the grocery store, you must apply for a permit. When you are applying for a permit, select “walking/riding bike” as your method of transportation.
10. Can I walk my dog?
When asked by members of the public about dog walking, the Dubai Police simply stated that everyone must stay at home unless they work in one of the essential sectors and have a permit, or they need to buy essential food and medicine.
On Monday, multiple users resported that they had permit applications to take their dog for a walk approved on the new permit website. However, on Tuesday the option appeared to have been removed.