The UAE has urged people in the country to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or to perform “essential jobs”.
The country has also decided to close all malls in the country within the next 48 hours as it seeks to combat the spread of Covid-19, official news agency WAM reported.
In a joint statement, the Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said the decisions were seeking to limit social contact and ensuring people avoided crowded places.
“The public are urged to use their own family cars with a maximum of three individuals per vehicle. They are also advised not to visit public places and maintain social distancing protocols during family gatherings as part of the precautionary measures taken to ensure public health and safety,” the statement said.
The two authorities also urged the public not to visit hospitals except for critical or emergency cases and to use face masks.
“Additional instructions will be issued later involving the use of public transport, taxis and other means of transportation,” said the statement.
Meanwhile all commercial centres and shopping malls along with fish, meat and vegetables markets will be shut for a renewable period of two weeks.
The decision will take effect after 48 hours, and will be subject to review and re-assessment, officials said.
The decision excludes pharmacies and food retail outlets, including cooperative societies, grocery stores and supermarkets, along with fish, meat and vegetables markets dealing with wholesalers.
Restaurants will also not be allowed to receive customers, with their services limited to home deliveries only.
The UAE law on communicable diseases, which includes fines and jail terms, will be enforced against all violators, the statement added.