Even as Covid numbers come down, UAE issues strict guidelines, fines

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Even as the number of new Covid-19 cases continue to dwindle in the UAE, the government is not taking things for granted with the new Delta variant and announced a slew of measures, including stiff fines for those breaking pandemic-related laws and requirement of PCR test every 48 hours for unvaccinated government employees.

On Sunday, a circular issued by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources said all unvaccinated government employees will need to take a PCR test every two days. It applies to employees of federal government departments and ministries and comes into effect from Sunday, August 29.

On Saturday, 1,066 new cases were reported – the lowest number since the beginning of 2021. As many as 1,633 patients recovered and 301,430 PCR tests were conducted.

Meanwhile, the government also updated the list of fines – ranging from 1,000 dirhams (Rs 20,230) to 50,000 dirhams (Rs 10,11,750) – for flouting quarantine rules, social distancing, mandatory protocols, and spreading false rumours.

The 50,000 dirhams fines are for those violating mandatory hospitalisation, failing to adhere to home quarantine instructions and failing to adhere to the quarantine facility instructions. It also applies to malls that don’t follow the allowed timing of operations.

A 30,000 dirhams (Rs 6,07,050) fine will be issued for non-compliance with instructions for individual businesses, like restaurants seating more customers than allowed. Establishments failing to report a positive case will be fined 20,000 dirhams.

Any social gathering or celebration that violates rules related to number of guests and social distancing will result in an 10,000 dirhams fine for organisers and 5,000 dirhams fine for invited guests.

Any foreign visitor or tourist found violating any COVID-19 related laws will have to cough up 5,000 dirhams per offence.

Failure to maintain social distancing in public places, or the absence of face masks in closed public spaces and crowded open spaces will fetch an immediate fine of 3,000 dirhams. Wearing masks is mandatory in private cars unless the car is being driven just by the driver, or when the occupants are family members and their domestic helps or second-degree relatives.

The rule also stipulated that only two passengers are allowed in a private car, unless they are family members, domestic help, or second-degree relatives.

A 20,000 dirhams fine was also added for promoting or publishing misleading news, information or rumours about health information related to the Covid-19 pandemic or the precautionary measures implemented by the relevant authorities. This also applies to those encouraging people to not comply with these measures or attempting to ridicule them.

–IANS

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