UAE to shut down public transport and restrict movement

Siobháin Spear
Mar 26, 2020

A ‘National Disinfection Programme’ will be carried out across the weekend with all residents told to remain indoors throughout.

From 8pm on Thursday 26 March until 6am on Sunday 29 March, a nationwide disinfection programme will take place across the UAE. Across set times, public transport, including metro services, will be brought to a halt.

The Ministry of Health & Prevention (MoHAP) and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) have announced that, in collaboration with the relevant federal and local authorities, a ‘National Disinfection Programme’ will take place in order to allow for a complete sterilization of all public utilities, public transport and metro services across the weekend.

While the disinfection programme is conducted, the movement of traffic and the public will be restricted. MoHAP has urged the public to stay at home not to go out unless it is absolutely necessary.

What is deemed as ‘necessary’ movement?

According to WAM, necessary movement includes:

Trips to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine

Work in vital sectors, including: energy, telecommunications, health, education, security, law enforcement, military, postal service, shipping and logistics, medicines, water, food, civil aviation, airports, passports, banking & financial services, government media and the service sectors, including petrol stations and construction

Those who do need to continue to work outside of their own homes will have their personal or work identity checked and verified by the relevant authorities.

Will shops be open for essential supplies?

As per a directive issued earlier by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), pharmacies and food retail outlets in the UAE can operate 24 hours; this includes cooperative societies, grocery stores and supermarkets.

If you are leaving your house for essential supplies or work, ensure that you are carrying your Emirates ID with you.

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