24-hour restrictions on movement in Dubai

Siobháin Spear
Apr 5, 2020

The emirate has announced that a 24-hour sterilization programme will be enforced for a further two weeks.

Late on Saturday 4 April, the extension of the disinfection programme was announced with an updated directive that it would run 24 hours a day. The measures came into effect at 8pm on Saturday and will be in place for a period of two weeks; this period is subject to renewal.

According to WAM, extensive medical tests will be conducted across densely populated areas of Dubai to ensure members of the community are free from COVID-19 infection. The announcement was made by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, in coordination with the Command and Control Centre for Combating COVID-19.

What does this mean for residents?

Dubai has introduced measures to ensure that people undertake trips outside their homes in a planned and organized way.

The extension of the programme now means that individuals will not be allowed to leave the house, except for essential purposes or in the case that they are working in vital sectors which are exempted from the restrictions.

Food retail outlets, such as Union cooperative stores and supermarkets, as well as pharmacies are allowed to operate as usual; food and medicine deliveries can also operate as usual, so there is no need for residents to be concerned about access to supplies.

The authorities have directed all members of the community to comply with the new measures and cautioned that anyone found violating the instructions will face legal action.

New restrictions and exceptions

Individuals are permitted to leave home for essential purposes only. The directive has outlined the following measures that must be complied with:

  • You can leave the house to buy food from food supply outlets (Union Cooperative stores, supermarkets and grocery stores)
  • You can leave the house to buy medicines or getting medical assistance from healthcare service providers, such as hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and COVID-19 tests
  • Only one family member is permitted to leave the house for the purpose of buying the essential supplies
  • All people leaving home should wear a mask and gloves
  • All people leaving home should ensure they keep a safe distance from others at all times

What if I need to work?

Employees working in vital sectors, listed below, are exempt from restrictions and permitted to leave their house and can leave at any time throughout the day. Vital sectors are categorized as:

  • Healthcare services (hospitals, clinics and pharmacies)
  • Food supply outlets (Union Cooperative outlets, supermarkets, grocery stores)
  • Delivery services (food and medicine)
  • Restaurants (operations limited to home deliveries only)
  • Manufacturers of medicines and providers of healthcare and medical supplies.
  • Industrial sector (only vital industries)
  • Industrial supply chain for services and basic commodities
  • Water and electricity sector, petrol and gas stations and district cooling services
  • Telecommunications sector
  • Media sector
  • Airports, airlines, ports, shipping
  • Customs duty and border crossings
  • Public and private security services
  • Municipality services and public and private service providers involved in garbage collection, sewage management and general cleaning and sanitation
  • Private and government sector organisations involved in combating the coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Public transport (buses and taxis only; metro and tram services will be suspended)
  • Construction sector, subject to obtaining a permit from Dubai Municipality and the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs

Employees working in support sectors are permitted to commute to work between 8am and 2pm. The support sectors are listed as:

  • Banking and financial services (banks and exchange centres)
  • Social welfare services
  • Laundry services (for permitted outlets)
  • Maintenance services.

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management stressed that all members of the community are strictly required to adhere to the the above guidelines to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the community. Anyone violating the restrictions will face stringent legal action. The compliance of all people is vital to the success of measures to combat the virus and ensure the highest levels of protection.

Releasing an informative video to help residents and citizens to understand the newly enforced measures, Dubai Media Office outlined the continued disinfection programmme and the exemptions to the new directive.

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