Ramadan 2021 in UAE: 'health remains a priority over everything else'

Officials pledge 'surprise visits' to hospitality, food outlets and shopping centres to ensure rules are followed

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The UAE is ready to welcome its second Ramadan during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the second consecutive year, the holy month will be observed with precautionary measures in place.

So far, 8.5 million vaccine doses have been administered, covering 62.5 per cent of the targeted categories.

The country continues its approach of intensive testing, and nearly 39 million tests have been carried out since the beginning of the outbreak.

Public health is a social responsibility and following all instructions is a national obligation

"The Emirates has followed a pragmatic approach in combating the outbreak, creating a balance between health and economy," Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, said on Tuesday.

“But health remains a priority over everything else.”

Officials said the public should follow nationwide restrictions for Ramadan that were announced earlier.

"We will have inspection campaigns and surprise visits to facilities. Those breaking the rules will be held accountable and facilities may be shut down," Dr Al Dhaheri said.

“Public health is a social responsibility and following all instructions is a national obligation.”

A spokeswoman of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments said the authority has been working on a plan to spread religious awareness.

"The focus is on supporting the national efforts to combat the spread of the virus, as well as to support the frontliners and prepare the mosques to welcome worshippers while following the regulations," she said.

Awqaf will follow a number of initiatives:

• Broadcasting religious programmes on TV and radio

• Remote lectures in all private and public facilities

• Awareness programmes through Instagram Live

More than 300 episodes will be broadcast on 12 TV and radio programmes. There will be more than 10 guests in remote lectures for the public to tune in to.

The authority will also celebrate the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day and will teach the Quran through virtual lectures throughout Ramadan.

There will also be sessions to recite and memorise the Quran for people with disabilities.

UAE Ramadan 2021 rules

• Avoid all majlis and public gatherings

• Family gatherings should not be held

• Iftar and suhoor can be shared only by relatives living in the same house

• Avoid exchanging food with other families

• Refrain from any big gatherings related to Ramadan activities

• No collective iftar tents; no meals in front of mosques

• Restaurants cannot distribute meals inside or outside their premises

• Meals can be distributed in workers' accommodation only. Those who are interested in giving iftar meals to workers should contact the manager of the accommodation and a restaurant to arrange the distribution of meal packets

• Taraweeh prayers will be conducted under the precautionary measures already announced

• Mosques should be sanitised before and after prayers

• Do not distribute physical copies of the Quran; people should read the Quran digitally

• In the last 10 days of Ramadan, the situation will be reassessed and restrictions may be eased

• Intensive inspection campaigns will be conducted during Ramadan and action will be taken against offenders

• Elderly people and those with chronic diseases that place them at greater risk should continue to avoid public places

• Masks must be worn all times outside the home

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