Dubai: Dubai, the Middle East’s business hub, is joining cities around the world in gradually loosening curbs after it enforced one of the strictest lockdowns to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Commercial and transport activities are being partially restored as business activity slowly restarts, the government of Dubai said in a press release. With the Muslim holy month of Ramadan starting on Friday, individuals will be able to leave their homes between 6 am and 10 pm without a permit. Communal prayers and public and private gatherings are still banned.
Dubai’s malls, known for their ski slopes and dancing fountains, will reopen with strict rules, including limiting the number of visitors to 30% of capacity and maintain social distancing. In preparation for the easing, Dubai sent a 15-page document titled ‘Guidelines & Protocols for Reopening.’
Here are some of the guidelines:
Malls & Restaurants
- To open for 10 hours; visitor numbers must not exceed 30% of capacity
- Those older than 60 years and children between the ages of 3 and 12 years are not permitted
- Visitors to be submitted to temperature checks; must wear masks
Metro, Buses & Taxis
- Public transport services, including Dubai metro services, will resume Sunday
- Passengers to follow social distancing measures
- Employees are allowed to work in offices only if it is absolutely necessary. Their numbers should not exceed 30% of the total workforce
- Face masks to be worn
For almost three weeks, Dubai implemented a 24-hour lockdown that authorities enforced with zeal. They set up checkpoints and required residents to secure permits before going out to buy groceries or medicine. The pandemic forced Dubai to seek a delay to the World Expo and to ground Emirates flights.
The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is one of seven sheikhdoms, has reported 8,756 coronavirus cases.