Coronavirus: Dubai to impose new restrictions on travel and shopping

Only one member of a household will be allowed to leave home for essential items - and masks and gloves must be worn

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Latest: Dubai residents cannot leave home without new permit

Dubai imposed tougher restrictions on movement and travel from Saturday night, April 4.

Only one member of a household will be allowed to leave the home for essential shopping – and they must wear a mask and gloves at all times.

In addition, "extensive testing" will be rolled out in densely populated areas to identify cases of Covid-19.

Food retail outlets, such as Union Co-op stores and supermarkets, as well as pharmacies and food and medicine delivery services will be allowed to operate as usual.

Individuals will not be allowed to leave the house, except for essential purposes

The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said the new rules came into effect at 8pm on Saturday and will last for two weeks.

It warned residents they would be fined or subject to tougher legal action if found to be in breach of the order.

"Individuals will not be allowed to leave the house, except for essential purposes or if they are working in vital sectors exempted from the restrictions," Dubai Media Office said.

"These measures have been put in place to ensure people undertake trips outside the home in a planned and organised way."

What are Dubai's new Covid-19 restrictions?

What are Dubai's new Covid-19 restrictions?

The Roads and Transport Authority announced public bus services would be free of charge for people "who need to leave their homes for essential purposes and those who work in vital sectors.

"The decision underscores the RTA’s commitment to support the efforts made by Dubai and the UAE to combat the novel coronavirus and reduce the risk of its spread to the minimum," said Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.

Dubai Taxi vehicles and franchised taxis will offer a 50-percent discount on normal fares.

Earlier, officials confirmed 241 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total to 1,505. The death of an Arab national, aged 53, took the death toll to 10, while 17 more people recovered, for a total of 125.

The new tally means the number of cases almost tripled in a week. Officials said the figure would rise as testing increased and investigators work to trace people who had been in contact with patients before they showed symptoms.

On Saturday, Dubai closed both lines of the Metro and the tram until further notice, according to a letter sent to station retailers.

Three stations in Deira closed last week when the area was placed on total lockdown for two weeks.

Despite stricter measures, there remain a significant number of professions deemed to be vital and exempt from travel restrictions.

These include:

- medical workers and pharmacy staff

- supermarket staff and delivery drivers

- food outlet workers

- industrial workers and supply chain staff

- water and electricity employees and petrol station staff

- telecoms workers and journalists

- airport and shipping personnel

- construction workers, if the company has a permit to continue work

- government, police and customs officers

A few critical service industries are also exempt, including banks and exchange houses, laundry staff and maintenance workers.

These workers are only allowed to commute to work between 8am and 2pm.

Abu Dhabi residents tested in drive-through swab centre