Dubai witnessed a drastic decline in the coronavirus positivity ratio towards the last leg of 2020. As the Gulf emirate eased Covid-19 restrictions and opened tourism, allowing visitors from around the globe, the country has yet again been forced to introduce stricter SOPs in order to curb the number of infections. In light of this, Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announced updates to travel protocols effective from Sunday, January 31. The new rules include UAE citizens being required undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Dubai, irrespective of the country they are coming from.
Moreover, the validity period of PCR tests has been reduced from 96 hours to 72 hours. Along with the new protocols which have been put into place, earlier precautions such as social distancing and wearing a mask at all times will continue to be in effect. The capacity of indoor venues, including cinemas, entertainment and sports venues, has been reduced to 50%. Hotels have been advised to operate at 70% of the total capacity, while guests allowed at swimming pools and private beaches in hotels have been limited to 70% of total capacity.
According to the revised guidelines, restaurants and cafes will be required to close by 1am, while pubs/bars will remain completely closed until further notice. Shopping malls have also been asked to function at a reduced capacity of 70%. Tougher penalties will be imposed on anyone found purposely disobeying safety protocols. The committee also encouraged members of the Dubai community to report any violations of Covid-19 precautionary measures by individuals or establishments through Dubai Police’s Call Centre 901 or its Police Eye service in the Dubai Police Smart App. Here’s hoping the latest Covid-19 guidelines are followed religiously, so that we can combat the coronavirus pandemic in a faster and more effective way.