UAE cinemas to run at 100% capacity for first time since Covid-19 outbreak

Each emirate can amend or tighten the rules as it deems fit

Reel Cinemas at The Springs Souk in Dubai.
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All cinemas in the UAE have been given the go-ahead to run at full capacity again from this week, more than 18 months after restrictions were first brought in due to Covid-19.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority on Sunday said each emirate could tighten or amend the rules as it deemed fit.

At the start of the pandemic, cinemas across the country were closed to help stop the spread of the virus.

There is no change to the use of masks, which are required by law in all indoor and outdoor public places nationwide.

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The decision to raise capacity in cinemas follows the success of the efforts of the UAE government agencies in combating the spread of Covid-19
Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ministry of Culture and Youth

When they reopened later in 2020, they had to abide by strict capacity limits to ensure social distancing rules were met, starting at 30 per cent and climbing to 80 per cent by late 2021.

This is the first time cinemas have been allowed to run at full capacity since the virus outbreak was declared a pandemic.

Rashid Al Nuaimi, executive director of the Media Regulatory Office of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, said the UAE had handled the crisis well.

“The decision to raise capacity in cinemas follows the success of the efforts of the UAE government agencies in combating the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

“The strict precautionary measures imposed by the agencies and the community’s adherence to those have reduced the spread of the virus and ensured the health and safety for all.”

He stressed the need to fully adhere to the preventive measures adopted to check the spread of the pandemic, such as mandatory masks and restrictions on large gatherings.

Following lower infection rates, the authority has gradually lifted other Covid-19 restrictions on various events and activities in the country.

Earlier this month, authorities started to lift capacity limits at shopping centres and other public places and will continue to do so throughout February. However, members of the public are still required to wear face masks when out and about.

To date, nearly 95 per cent of people have received two vaccine doses, while a nationwide booster push is well under way.

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Updated: February 13, 2022, 11:36 AM
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