UAE eases COVID-19 restrictions, updates operating capacities

Capacity at shopping malls, cinemas and eateries in the UAE has been increased to 80 percent.

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has eased COVID-19 restrictions to allow more people to sit together at restaurant tables and hold larger weddings.

UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) on Sunday announced the following updated operating capacities and preventive measures:

  • Capacity at shopping malls, cinemas and eateries in the UAE has been increased to 80 percent,
  • Hotels can operate at full capacity.
  • Up to 10 people can be seated at one table in restaurants and cafes. They must wear face masks while away from their tables.
  • Events can accommodate 60 per cent of capacity, but the total number of guests must not exceed 300. The guests must maintain an appropriate social distance and wear masks.
  • Public transportation can operate with 75 percent capacity.
  • Events and fairs are only open to residents who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A PCR test done in the past 48 hours may also be needed.

Green pass protocol

NCEMA has urged institutions to use the “green pass” protocol for certain categories of events and activities to help contain the spread of the virus.

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The “green pass” on Al-Hosn app is a color-coding system that reflects a person’s vaccination status, as well as the validity of their PCR test.

The relaxed rules were announced on the day the UAE recorded its lowest daily cases of COVID-19 in nearly three months.

In other developments, the UAE based Emirates and Etihad airlines have reiterated that residents of the Emirates attempting to travel home from six countries must have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Emirates to return.

People who have been vaccinated in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Nigeria are not eligible to return to the UAE at this time, regardless of which vaccine they have taken.

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