Only people working in certain sectors will be allowed to leave their homes…

This weekend, unless you work in a handful of sectors, all UAE residents must stay indoors while a nationwide disinfection programme takes place.

From 8pm tonight until 6am Sunday, public transport will be halted and movements will be restricted across the UAE, as facilities are sterilised.

The Ministry of Health Prevention, MoHAP and the Ministry of Interior, MoI announced the three-day ‘National Disinfection Programme’ last night, in its latest attempt to stem the coronavirus pandemic in the UAE.

More details will be shared at midday today, but for now here are the main points:

  • From 8pm Thursday to 6am Sunday, public transport will be closed and movements in the street will be restricted
  • You may only leave your home if it is absolutely essential to get food and medical supplies, or if you work in a vital sector
  • According to state news agency WAM, vital sectors include: “energy, telecommunications, health, education, security, law enforcement, military, postal service, shipping and logistics, medicines, water, food, civil aviation, airports, passports, banking and financial services, government media and the service sectors, including petrol stations and construction.”
  • If you leave your home, you will be asked to show your ID

UAE authorities are increasingly clamping down on people who flaunt the stay-at-home message, using drones to monitor movements around beaches and public spaces, and issuing fines for non-compliance.

Grocery stores, supermarkets and pharmacies are now permitted to trade 24 hours a day – these will remain open over the weekend, but can only operate at 30 per cent capacity, and customers must maintain a distance of two metres.

New rules regarding the use of public transport have also been released, which will be in effect until 8pm today, and when services resume on Sunday.