Coronavirus: Dubai Police arrest man for video mocking beach closure

European posted video on social media mocking precautions to prevent spread of Covid-19

Dubai Police arrested a man on Sunday for ignoring a nationwide ban on visiting public beaches and mocking measures to protect public safety amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The European man, believed to be a personal trainer, posted a video on Instagram of himself and a friend at Marina Beach in Jumeirah Beach Residence.

They were there a day after authorities said all public beaches, parks, gyms and cinemas would be closed to limit the spread of the virus.

Police said the man "ignored the instructions of a police patrol while mocking precautionary measures issued by health and official authorities".

In the video, the man praises people for going to the beach despite the ban and global pandemic.

He films crowds of people in the sea and mocks a police patrol car that pulls up on the sand.

"The General Command of the Dubai Police warns that residents must comply with the directives issued by security entities, be they local or federal," police said on Sunday.

"If safeguards for public health are violated, residents will be held accountable and face legal measures."

The UAE has introduced increasingly strict measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The country has reported 153 cases of coronavirus and 38 complete recoveries. Two people have died since the UAE reported its first case in January.

Authorities have repeatedly appealed for the public to stay home unless absolutely necessary, and to practise social distancing.

The UAE Attorney General, Dr Hamad Al Shamsi, warned that anyone caught not adhering to the precautionary measures or found to be breaking self-isolation would face legal action.