Dubai Covid-19 rules overhaul allows concerts, 10 diners to a table and weddings for 100

The government released news of the changes at Arabian Travel Market on Monday

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Dubai's authorities lifted a series of restrictions on live entertainment and hotel occupancy and permitted concerts for vaccinated people.

The government announced the changes at Arabian Travel Market on Monday. They took effect immediately.

Officials said the changes were for a trial period of one month and reminded people that masks must be worn in all public places.

In a series of changes, Dubai Media Office said:

- live entertainment and activities are allowed in restaurants, cafes and shopping malls for a trial period of one month, which may be extended

- entertainment venues can increase capacity to 70 per cent; hotels can raise occupancy to 100 per cent

- music concerts, community sports events, spectator events and social and institutional events will be allowed on the condition that all members of audiences, participants and staff have been vaccinated against the coronavirus

- the total number of people allowed to sit at a single table at restaurants is increased to 10 - up from seven. Cafes can also accommodate 10 on a table

- six people can sit on a table in shisha cafe - up from four

- social distancing should be observed at two metres instead of three. This means all areas including malls, restaurants and cafes

- restaurants are allowed to resume brunches, providing all of the above rules are followed

- attendance at weddings is capped at 100 for wedding venues/hotels. Guests and staff must be vaccinated. Previously, only 10 people were allowed at a wedding and all had to be related

- 30 people can attend a wedding event at a private home, providing masks are worn

- private gatherings at home, such as a barbecue or dinner can now include 30 people

- there has been no change to the number of people permitted on boats - the rules allow 60 per cent capacity, as long as all precautionary measures are respected, including 2 metres between tables

- maximum attendance for large public events that require permits is now 1,500 for indoor and 2,500 for outdoor

No change to mask wearing in public places

As with the nationwide law, masks must be worn in all public places.

Exemptions include when taking strenuous exercise, when dining and while seated at a restaurant table.

The fine for not wearing a mask remains Dh3,000 ($817) per person.

"Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management stressed the need for the community to adhere to the updated measures," Dubai Media Office said.

"Inspections will continue to be carried out by the authorities to ensure compliance with the measures. Violators will face stiff penalties."

Officials said they need the co-operation of members of the public "to promote an accelerated return to normality".

"Working together is key to ensuring the highest levels of health and safety in the community and preventing any setback to the efforts to curb the pandemic", it said.

Vaccinated crowds back in stadiums

Dubai's entertainment overhaul came a day after a small crowd of vaccinated supporters watched Shabab Al Ahli triumph 2-1 over Al Nasr at the President's Cup at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.

The requirements, coupled with social distancing in the stands and a maximum stadium capacity of 30 per cent, marked the first time supporters have returned to watch live football since the pandemic began.

Spectators were required to have the 'E' mark on the government's Al Hosn tracing app - meaning they were fully vaccinated at least one month ago.

They also required to show a negative PCR test result from the past 48 hours. Temperature check stations were also in place and masks remained on at all times.

Similar models are likely to be used in the coming months as concert and sports promoters seek to draw in the public once again.

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