More than 1,600 face prosecution in Abu Dhabi for breaking Covid-19 party rules

Police step up efforts to catch those flouting regulations

RAK, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , May 28 – 2020 :- Safety stickers at the Redtag store at the Al Naeem City Center in Ras Al Khaimah. UAE government lift the coronavirus restriction for the residents and businesses around the country. (Pawan Singh / The National) For News/Online/Stock/Instagram.

Hundreds of people were referred to Abu Dhabi prosecutors for breaching Covid-19 rules on social gatherings.

Abu Dhabi Police said it had taken action against 47 people for hosting events and a further 1,641 for taking part.

All were referred to the capital's Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Prosecution, according to Abu Dhabi Media Office.

It was not made clear over what period of time the offences took place.

Police said party hosts can be hit with a fine of up to Dh10,000, while guests must pay half that amount.

Gatherings in the desert and celebrations in public places and on private farms were being closely scrutinised by officers.

They urged members of the public to report those flouting regulations by calling the toll-free number, 800 2626, via text message on 2828, by emailing or through the My Safe Society app.

Coronavirus in the UAE

In the capital, up to 10 family members are allowed to gather but they must adhere to specific health and safety measures.

These include wearing face masks and remaining at least two metres apart. Parties and other social gatherings are banned.

Fines will be imposed on anyone who hosts, invites or organises social gatherings, meetings, private and public celebrations that exceed this number, as well as those who participate.

Up to 20 people can attend funerals and mourning services while up to 10 can attend marriage ceremonies.

Authorities across the Emirates sought to clamp down on mass gatherings in recent weeks to stem a recent rise in Covid-19 cases.

More than 30,000 breaches of Covid-19 safety rules were reported in the UAE this year, prompting a renewed call for the public to act responsibly.

Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, urged people to abide by Covid-19 rules and help lead the recovery from the pandemic.

He said most offences involved people failing to wear face masks or adhere to social distancing practices and taking part in gatherings.

Police in Dubai stepped up efforts to combat rule-breaking parties at homes and in public.

The force broke up parties at a desert camp, on a yacht and at a private residence in recent days.

"We affirm the importance of abiding by all precautionary measures to guarantee the welfare of the community," Dr Al Dhaheri said on Wednesday.

"The recovery starts with steps taken by you [the public]."