UAE to restrict public places to people without COVID-19 vaccine

UAE to restrict public places to people without COVID-19 vaccine

People who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 won’t be able to enter shopping malls, restaurants, cafes and other public places in Abu Dhabi starting next week, as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced a new set of coronavirus restrictions on late Wednesday.

The new rules came as the UAE, a federation of seven emirates, has seen daily cases rise over the past three weeks. The UAE, which does not give a breakdown for each emirate, recorded 2,179 new infections on Wednesday, up from 1,229 on May 17.

The restrictions will also apply to gyms, hotels and their facilities, public parks, beaches, swimming pools, entertainment centers, cinemas and museums, Abu Dhabi’s media office said.

Visitors will have to prove they have been vaccinated or have recently tested negative through the country’s COVID-19 app, which displays an individual’s vaccination and testing history.

The mobile app will show green if the person has been vaccinated or has tested negative.

Individuals who have not been vaccinated will need to be tested every three days to maintain their green status. A fully vaccinated person would do so every 30 days.

Restricting access of people without vaccines to public places has been one of the measures countries, including Turkey, have been mulling as vaccine skepticism threatens the global fight against the pandemic.

The UAE announced last month that from June 6, attendance at live events and social activities, including weddings and bars, would be limited to those who could prove they had been vaccinated.

The UAE has one of the world’s highest inoculation rates with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines available to citizens and residents.

In Abu Dhabi, those immunized with the Chinese-made Sinopharm shot are also able to take a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech as a booster.

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