Coronavirus: what can people do in the UAE this weekend after some Covid-19 restrictions have lifted

An increasing number of activities are allowed across the UAE as restrictions continue to be eased

Restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak continue to be eased across the country, giving residents and Emiratis more options on how to spend their spare time at the weekend.

Some measures remain in place to ensure anyone who may be infected does not pass the virus on to someone else but restrictions on public places vary depending on the emirate.

So what can people in Abu Dhabi do compared to those in Dubai or the Northern Emirates? The National explains.

What is the status in Abu Dhabi?

The UAE's capital currently has some of the strictest measures in place across the country with a movement ban limiting travel between Abu Dhabi's main regions as well as entering and leaving the emirate.

Emiratis and residents can now leave Abu Dhabi but cannot return unless they are issued a permit by police.

Movement between the emirate's regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra) also requires a permit.

For Abu Dhabi, which is still under travel restrictions to ensure the success of emirate’s major testing drive, the return to normal has been more gradual.

Residents of Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and Al Dhafra can travel within their cities but not elsewhere in the emirate without first obtaining a permit.

Anyone wishing to leave the emirate is now free to do so, but a permission is required to re-enter.

But there are entertainment options for residents of Abu Dhabi city.

The capital’s museums and cultural places have now been given permission to reopen at 40 per cent capacity from June 24, with safety measures in place.

Malls, restaurants, and cafes have also reopened up to 40 per cent capacity, but people over the age of 70 and children under 12 are not permitted to enter. The age limit was changed this week after previously placing restrictions on people aged 60 and over, as well as children under 12.

Hotels are welcoming guests again but masks and gloves must be worn inside the hotel and its facilities.

Dog walkers, runners and cyclists have now also returned to the Corniche, which had been off-limits for months. However, play areas remain cordoned off.

What can people do in Dubai?

Restrictions across Dubai have eased considerably over the past few days but some measures remain in place to keep people safe from Covid-19.

Most public spaces can now be freely accessed by people of all ages as long as they maintain at least 2 metres distance with others, wear a face mask and sanitise often.

In Dubai, children under the age of 12 and adults over the age of 60 are once again allowed to visit swimming pools, play areas, cinemas, gyms and shopping malls.

They can go to museums, arts and galleries, beaches, public libraries and public parks.

This week, Dubai Municipality announced that water parks can open at 50 per cent capacity, as long as they operate under stringent guidelines and incorporate several precautionary measures. All attractions, locker rooms, showers and changing rooms can reopen, if proper sanitisation measures are put in place, including temperature checks, compulsory face masks and sanitiser stations. All parks will need to be completely washed down at the end of each day and prior to reopening as well.

Dubai has now largely returned to normal, with malls once again operating at full capacity.

Salons and gyms have also been allowed to return to 100 per cent capacity, following an announcement from the emirate's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.

Sporting activities have also resumed with group sports no longer restricted.

In most locations in Dubai, masks are mandatory, with exceptions made for those alone, exercising or have an illness that makes it difficult to breathe with one on. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 must, however, wear them.

Most public places will require visitors to maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from others, get their temperature checked on entry and to sanitise their hands often.

Dubai is able to ease all these measures because the threat of coronavirus has decreased since the initial outbreak.

This week, officials said the emirate was on track to curb the spread of the virus as the daily number of recoveries in the UAE exceeded new infections for nine consecutive days.

What about the Northern Emirates?

In Ras Al Khaimah, residents can visit public beaches, malls, barber shops and beauty salons. But visitors aged above 60 or below 12 are banned from entering shopping centres.

Cinemas, gyms, car washes, and prayer rooms in malls will remain closed and restaurants will operate at 30 per cent capacity.

Ajman has reopened cinemas and gyms, and both Fujairah and Ajman have allowed hotel facilities and bars and restaurants to open, with some restrictions, along with water sports and other activities.

Updated: June 18, 2020 06:21 PM

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