UAE clarifies regulations on medical masks use during coronavirus pandemic

Only people feeling unwell or showing symptoms must wear masks, if they must visit an indoor, public place

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Updated: Public told to wear masks at all times as UAE confirms 241 new cases

The UAE's most senior judicial official has clarified a list of penalties that came into effect to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Hamad Al Shamsi, the country's attorney general, set out 15 offences that could lead to a fine of at least Dh1,000.

The list includes rules governing the wearing of masks.

It states that only people who feel unwell or show symptoms must wear a mask if they must leave their homes to visit an indoor, public place. Officials previously said anyone going to hospital should also have a mask on.

The list sets out the financial penalties for hosting parties at home and leaving home unless you have good reason to or perform an essential job.

On Saturday, authorities said a nationwide programme to sterilise streets and public places would be extended for a week, to April 4. During 8pm to 6am residents must remain indoors without exception.

Outside of those hours, residents are only allowed to leave their homes if they can prove they are picking up essentials from a supermarket or pharmacy.

The list set out by Dr Al Shamsi states there is a Dh1,000 penalty for failing to wear medical masks in indoor public areas, like supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals, by anyone suffering from chronic diseases, those showing cold and flu symptoms or those failing to maintain social distancing. In addition to that, some supermarkets have begun refusing entry to anyone who is not wearing a mask.

There is also a Dh50,000 fine for a range of offences such as virus patients refusing to remain in hospital, failing to adhere to mandated home quarantine and refusing to take subsequent tests as ordered by doctors.

Other penalties include:

  • Dh1,000 fine for visiting health facilities unnecessarily
  • Dh5,000 fine for refusing a medical test upon request
  • Dh3,000 fine for any person leaving home for unnecessary reasons, except to perform vital jobs or buy necessities
  • Dh5,000 fine for the person in charge of managing a company or a facility that breaches sterilisation measures
  • Dh50,000 fine and administrative closure for failing to temporarily suspend an establishment. Dh500 fine will be issued for any customer found there
  • Dh50,000 fine and administrative closure for ignoring the decision to close educational institutions, cinemas, gyms, sports clubs, malls, outdoor markets, parks, cafes, shopping centres and restaurants or for receiving customers. A customer found at such establishments will be given a fine of Dh500
  • Dh10,000 fine for whoever organises gatherings, meetings, private and public celebrations or being present in groups at public places or private farms. Participants will also be handed a fine of Dh5,000
  • Dh2,000 fine for passengers arriving from a country with an outbreak and ignoring orders issued by the Ministry of Health
  • Dh3,000 fine for failing to take proper health measures regarding regulation of markets and other public places exempted from temporary closure
  • Dh3,000 fine for refusing an order to dispose of any clothes, luggage or other stuff proved to be contaminated or might be contaminated by any pathogen if they can't be disinfected by established procedures
  • Dh10,000 fine for failing companies who fail to take proper take of the crew of their ships
  • Dh3,000 fine for failing to properly transport or bury a dead body infected with a communicable disease

  • Dh1,000 fine for a motorist who exceeds the number of passengers in their car – the maximum is three

Repeat offenders would face double the fine stated above.

A third offence would be referred to the federal Emergency and Crisis Prosecution service.

All offences are in force as of March 26.


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