UAE Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions, Returns to Near Normal

UAE Has Lift COVID-19 Restrictions, Returns to Near Normal

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority has decided to remove capacity restrictions in the wake of declining COVID-19 cases. On January 22, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the country reached a high of 3000, largely driven by the Omicron variant; but the situation has eased for the better since then. On February 13, the United Arab Emirates reported 2513 recoveries and only 1266 new COVID-19 cases. This dropped to 930 new cases on February 15.The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said that there was a clear decrease in the number of patients with COVID-19 being admitted to hospitals. As of February 15, maximum capacity is now allowed for gatherings at weddings, funerals, and other social events. However, the final decision rests with the emirate, and each emirate is allowed to tighten the regulations as they see fit. The seven emirates are at liberty to specify different capacity percentages for each type of event.
The Ministry of Culture and Youth has allowed cinema theatres to operate at maximum capacity from February 15 onwards, in a statement issued by the Media Regulatory Office. Each individual emirate has the authority to reduce the percentage of seating capacity allowed. 100% attendance is also allowed at all sports stadiums, with entry being restricted to those who have a Green Pass on the Al Hosn app or those who have obtained a negative PCR test result in the last 96 hours .

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At places of worship, social distancing has been reduced to one metre. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority is maintaining a tight vigil and the safe distance between worshippers may be cancelled later, if warranted for. It emphasizes that everyone should still wear masks, maintain social distancing, and sanitize themselves. It also encourages those fully vaccinated to receive their booster shots. A Green Pass on the Al Hosn app is still required to access public places.Residents of the United Arab Emirates have welcomed the move. Nadia Siddiqui of Box Office Events said they were able to organize a wedding, albeit with a limited capacity. She added that people were excited about things getting back to normal, a view echoed by Yasir Khan, a fitness trainer. Yasir said that although many did not want to visit gyms when the pandemic struck, they are now realizing that taking good care of their health is the best way to fight COVID-19.Ramandeep Kaur said she was looking to watch the Bollywood movie 83, while others were eagerly looking forward to new releases like RRR and KGF 2, which are scheduled to be released in March and April respectively. The hospitality sector remains upbeat about the new developments, and is sure of their valued clientele returning, now that 100% capacity is allowed at restaurants and cafes, in addition to fine dining establishments and other popular tourist attractions.

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