UAE reopens malls, eases curfew after virus shutdown

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The United Arab Emirates decided on April 23 to reopen malls, cafes and restaurants and ease lockdown restrictions imposed last month to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the occasion of Ramadan.

Curfew will be from 10 pm to 6 am while malls will be allowed to operate for 10 hours daily starting from midday on Friday, the first day of the Muslim fasting month, an official statement cited by the state-run WAM news agency said.

Supermarkets, food outlets, groceries and pharmacies will be allowed to operate round the clock, but mosques will remain shut during the holy month, the statement said.

Dubai was the only emirate among the seven sheikhdoms making up the UAE that imposed a total curfew while the rest had restricted movement at night.

Dubai government said in a statement that family entertainment facilities will remain shut while restaurants and hotels can be run only by 30 percent of their staff at a time.

Restaurants and cafes are not permitted to serve shisha or buffet dining and customers must observe social distancing.

Dubai also allowed public transport including metro to resume services from April 26.

The government however required all people to wear face masks at all times and said violators will be fined 1,000 dirhams ($272).

UAE has reported 8,756 cases of coronavirus and 56 deaths.

The emirate of Dubai has the most diversified economy in the Gulf which heavily depends on trade, retail, tourism and real estate.


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