Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: UAE urges public to abide by safety measures as National Day and Christmas approach

The exchange of gifts will be prohibited as part of measures aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19

This year's National Day celebrations will take place against the backdrop of a pandemic.
This year's National Day celebrations will take place against the backdrop of a pandemic.

Authorities are urging the public to abide by Covid-19 safety measures as a busy holiday season approaches.

The pandemic will require residents to put safety first when the country unites for National Day on December 2.

Christmas and New Year are also typically marked in jubilant style across the Emirates – but officials have called for caution to help curb the spread of the virus.

"We stress the importance of adhering to the precautionary and preventive measures guide for various activities in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic," a government spokesman said.

Key guidelines were set out for holiday celebrations, including a limit on gatherings for firework displays, the cancellation of workplace parties and the need for official approval for the hosting of music concerts and other live events.

The exchange of gifts and food will be prohibited during the upcoming festivities.

The public was again reminded to ensure they wear masks at all times, and adhere to two-metre social distancing measures.

Strict hygiene protocols will be enforced at public facilities, with thermal imaging cameras placed at entrances and exits as part of efforts to limit infection rates.

Residents will be encouraged to celebrate holidays remotely.

This month, officials announced plans to hold the traditional National Day show without a crowd.

The Emirates will mark its 49th year in spectacular style – but with safety in mind in a year disrupted by Covid-19.

While tens of thousands traditionally pack into a stadium to soak up the patriotic atmosphere, this year's celebration will be staged in Abu Dhabi on December 2 without a public audience.

But it promises to be anything but a muted affair as a visually stunning production is beamed to homes across the seven emirates and beyond.

Known as Seeds of the Union, the show will take the form of a moving sculpture surrounded by sea and illuminated by striking digital images representing key themes from the UAE's history and inspired by its values.

The UAE confirmed 1,255 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, raising total infections to 152,809.

Officials reported that 715 people were cleared of the virus over the past 24 hours, taking the recovery tally to 144,647.

And four people died of complications related to the coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 538.

Tuesday's new cases were identified after 105,024 tests were carried out across the Emirates.

The country has been robust in its approach to screening with more than 15.1 million tests conducted since the outbreak.

The number of active cases in the UAE is 7,624 – up from fewer than 2,000 at the start of the month.

Updated: November 18, 2020 03:46 PM

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