Abu Dhabi to ban unvaccinated people from entering public spaces

Abu Dhabi to ban unvaccinated people from entering public spaces
New restrictions come into place on 20 August

Abu Dhabi has announced that a wide range of public places will soon only be accessible to people who have received a Covid-19 vaccine.

The Emirati government on Monday said that starting on 20 August, authorities will begin restricting access to shopping centres, restaurants, cafes, sporting events, museums, gyms, schools and universities.

A statement released by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee said: “The decision is in line with the emirate’s strategy to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and complements preventive and precautionary measures taken to preserve public health. It also comes after vaccinating more than 93 per cent of target groups in Abu Dhabi.”

This means that unvaccinated people will effectively be barred from entering any business in the city, expect for supermarkets and pharmacies.

The rules do not apply for unvaccinated people who have a medical exemption or children under the age of 15, the statement added.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprises seven emirates and some of them have their own distinct Covid-19 policies.

The neighbouring travel hub of Dubai has also has introduced some vaccination restrictions on mass entertainment and sporting events.

However, shopping centres and other businesses remain open to the unvaccinated.

The UAE boasts one of the world’s fastest inoculation campaigns, with 15.1 million doses administered to its population of some 9 million.

The country has relied heavily on the Chinese state-backed Sinopharm jab.

Covid infections have risen in the past month in the UAE, which does not give a breakdown for each emirate.

On Saturday, it recorded 2,282 new infections to take its total to 624,814 cases and 1,792 deaths.

Additional reporting by agencies