Coronavirus: More than 200 Dubai beachgoers fined in one day for breaching safety measures

Residents face Dh3,000 fines for failing to wear masks or adhere to social distancing

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More than 200 Dubai beachgoers were fined in one day for flouting Covid-19 safety measures, police said.

They said 316 people had been caught breaching regulations since beaches reopened on May 29, with 221 offences recorded on Friday.

Most penalties have been handed out to offenders who failed to wear face masks or abide by social distancing, which carries a Dh3,000 fine.

Beach security patrols have issued warnings to those defying the rules before handing out fines.

The force has used drones to zone in on residents breaking safety measures.

Dubai's beaches safely socially distanced

Dubai's beaches safely socially distanced

“It has been noticed that some of the tens of thousands of residents who took to Dubai beaches since they re-opened nearly 10 days ago insisted on sitting next to one another and close to facilities,” said Col Saeed Al Madhani, director of Ports Police Station in Dubai.

“In the first few days, officers spoke to people about the importance of adhering to safety and health instructions, including keeping distance and wearing face masks at all times if they were not in the water."

Col Al Madhani said people were warned against gathering in groups of more than five and told they must wear face masks while sitting on the beach, walkways, or near places such as restaurants and car parks.

“Only people who did not respond to warnings in the first few days were fined,” he said.

“We were ready for the reopening of beaches and have co-ordinated with our partners to set up a work plan.

“The plan is focusing on two points. The first is ensuring everyone’s commitment to the precautionary measures for which patrols were intensified and drones were used to catch offenders.

“The second focuses on providing lifeguards, rescuers and sign boards that clarify rules.”

Col Al Madhani said most visitors to beaches had obeyed the rules and helped to protect the health of the public.

Last week, Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management revised guidelines about wearing face masks in public.

Previously, everyone in Dubai was obliged to wear one whenever they were outside their home.

But after the update people could temporarily remove their masks when engaging in strenuous exercise, eating or drinking in an indoor or outdoor venue, driving alone or with family members, or while undergoing medical treatment.

Those exempt from wearing face masks in public at all include children under the age of 6, people with cognitive, intellectual or sensory disorders that hamper their ability to breathe or communicate, and people who require supplemental oxygen or have severe respiratory conditions.