The UAE will strictly enforce the use of masks in all indoor places, the government said on Monday, as it tightened rules on Al Hosn green pass system.
At a televised media briefing, an official said there had been cases of people with Covid-19 breaching the mandatory 10-day home isolation period.
Any such breach is a criminal offence and will be dealt with robustly.
Dr Taher Al Ameri, spokesman for the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority, said residents must be vigilant against Covid-19.
Cases rose by 100 per cent in less than a week, while the number of hospital admissions, which was not specified, has increased. Dr Al Ameri said the wearing of masks indoors would be strictly enforced, with Dh3,000 fines for those caught without one.
The validity period of Al Hosn Green Pass app used in Abu Dhabi will also be reduced from Wednesday, June 15. In schools, it will be brought into effect on Monday, June 20.
Previously, a negative PCR result from a vaccinated person would turn the pass green for 30 days. This has been reduced to two weeks.
Dr Al Ameri said many people had stopped wearing masks in enclosed areas and this was contributing to the surge in cases.
Infections on the rise
The UAE recorded 1,319 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, continuing a recent rise in infection rates.
Another 1,076 recoveries from the virus were announced and there were no coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours.
The country has reported 918,815 cases, 900,358 recoveries and 2,305 deaths to date.
Daily case numbers have declined significantly during the year, having topped 3,000 on several occasions in January.
Despite the drop in case numbers, the public is asked to remain responsible and support the country's recovery.
School closure rules
The latest updates released in April outlined procedures for the gradual closure of educational institutions in the case of confirmed Covid-19 infections, which will follow the guidelines issued by local emergency and crises committees and teams in each emirate.
“Such procedures include closing the educational establishment for three days, if the infection rate exceeds 15 per cent of the total attendance,” state news agency Wam said at the time.
Those who come into contact with Covid-19 positive cases are no longer required to quarantine, while following the guidelines issued by health authorities.
Those infected with Covid-19 or who have respiratory diseases may opt for distance learning.
The Ministry of Education and NCEMA said that all the updates are applicable nationwide. They added that their implementation will be carried out in co-ordination with each emirate's emergency, crises and disasters committee.
Current school rules
UAE schools were told they were allowed to resume all activities and events from April 21 under updated Covid-19 safety rules announced by authorities.
The Ministry of Education and NCEMA said school field trips could also be organised as part of the measures.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated pupils and staff are able to take part in such trips, providing they have green status on Al Hosn app.
Face masks must be worn in closed spaces and on buses for trips.
Parents can attend the restored events and activities in line with precautionary measures, including wearing face masks in closed spaces and following the Green Pass protocols on Al Hosn app.
Pupils at private schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are no longer required to wear masks when outdoors as part of an easing of safety restrictions announced last month.
All Abu Dhabi private school pupils were permitted to return to face-to-face learning this month.
Distance learning is no longer an option at the emirate's private schools, but pupils can be exempted if they have an attested “high risk” medical report that confirms their inability to attend school in person.
Physical distancing measures in indoor areas have also been removed and unvaccinated pupils aged 16 and above can now return to school but have to provide a negative PCR test result every week.