Coronavirus: UAE public hailed for supporting vaccine drive as mosque rules are updated

A UAE football final is to be held with vaccinated fans in attendance next month

Powered by automated translation

Authorities on Tuesday praised the UAE public for its steadfast support of the country's successful vaccination drive, as plans were announced to allow inoculated fans to attend a showpiece football match next month.

During the UAE's regular Covid-19 briefing, it was revealed that tahajjud prayers would be permitted at mosques for the final 10 days of Ramadan.

The easing of restrictions is part of ongoing efforts to gradually return society to normality.

"Vaccination is one of the most important achievements against the pandemic," said Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.

"We need to have the vaccine in order to have immunity, which will decrease the number of cases and allow us to go back to normal life.

"Citizens and residents have co-operated to give the best examples of adapting to procedures," Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"We are on the same track, working together, hand in hand.

"We would like to thank all the people who have chosen to be vaccinated and call upon all others to take the initiative and contribute to protecting society."

The briefing heard that Tahajjud prayers – an optional prayer performed during the night – could be held in line with precautionary measures.

"It was decided to limit the length of the tahajjud prayer to a maximum of 30 minutes, and the timing would be at midnight until 12:30am in all the emirates of the country," Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"We stress the need to adhere to all precautionary measures in place in advance, and to close mosques immediately after the prayer."

The elderly and those with chronic illnesses were advised to pray at home.

The President's Cup – which has been held since 1974 – will be held on May 16 with a 30 per cent capacity.

All fans wanting to attend the match must have been inoculated or have taken part in clinical trials for the vaccine.

Spectators must also present a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 48 hours before.

A venue for the game, which features Shabab Al Ahli and Al Nasr, is to be announced.

"It is the first official event that only vaccine recipients and participants in clinical trials of the vaccine are allowed to attend," Dr Al Dhaheri said.