Coronavirus: UAE newspapers to limit print distribution

Move also affects magazines and non-health related marketing leaflets, and is part of measures to contain spread of Covid-19

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, July 29, 2019.  FOR: Laura Koot.   The National Newspaper table top shot. 
Victor Besa/The National
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Newspapers will limit the distribution of their print editions to regular subscribers and large shops in malls from Tuesday, as part of the UAE's preventive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The National Media Council said it was temporarily halting the distribution of newspapers, magazines and marketing and advertising material to homes, restaurants, hotels, health centres, clinics and waiting rooms in public and private companies.

It said newspapers and magazines would be available to buy from "large outlets in shopping centres", which will still receive copies along with paid subscribers.

The ban will apply to other places "where several people are likely to use the same printed materials", Wam reported.

"Several people touching the same printed material has the potential to disseminate the virus," it said.

The ban does not apply to health awareness publications approved by the authorities.

On Saturday, authorities urged the public to adhere to social distancing guidelines as the UAE announced 13 new cases of the coronavirus and seven recoveries.

"Daily newspapers in the country, with their advanced digital infrastructure, will continue to play their crucial role in publishing news stories and carrying discussions on issues of national importance across their multiple platforms," the National Media Council said.

The National will continue after Tuesday to distribute the print edition to its subscribers and large shops, along with other media.