More fines and closures as Dubai and Abu Dhabi authorities enforce Covid-19 rules

Officials increased inspections across the UAE to ensure shops, salons and leisure centres are operating safely

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Authorities have closed two sports centres in Dubai and three shops in Abu Dhabi for breaching Covid-19 safety measures.

A sports centre in Al Qusais was shut because of a failure to practise physical distancing.

Dubai Economy on Sunday also said it fined 10 businesses and warned seven for breaking rules designed to protect public health.

The 10 included a swimming academy in Al Quoz and fitness centres in Al Karama, Al Badaa and Al Quoz.

Fines were also issued to outlets in several shopping centres “for not adhering to physical distancing guidelines and employees’ lack of commitment to wearing masks”.

“Public health is a top priority and stern action will be taken against any non-compliance with the precautionary measures found during inspections, or that may be brought to its [Dubai Economy’s] attention by consumers and the public,” Dubai Economy said.

Dubai Municipality said it had closed an “entertainment area” in the emirate for breaching safety measures.

Officials said the venue in question had hosted a birthday celebration, contravening guidelines covering large gatherings.

In a post on Twitter, the authority said it had fined a further 17 establishments and issued 42 warnings for their failure to comply with Covid-19 regulations.

Of 2,366 inspections carried out on Saturday, 2,306 premises met safety requirements.

Authorities have stepped up efforts in recent weeks to ensure everyone is following Covid-19 safety measures.

The UAE on Sunday reported 674 new cases of Covid-19 as testing is increased, but officials have repeatedly said public compliance with regulations is vital to beating outbreaks.

In Abu Dhabi, officials swept through 5,000 shops, closing three, fining 27 and warning 131 during inspections from September 10 to September 17, authorities said.

“Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development’s daily monitoring campaign of businesses and commercial markets is ongoing across Abu Dhabi,” the department said. “The monitoring and control campaign is also ensuring precautionary health measures are in full accordance with the guidelines issued by the department.”

Inspectors visited shopping centres, pharmacies, gyms, money exchanges and beauty salons, among other places.