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Combating coronavirus: Residents say they will 'tread with care' as UAE lifts movement restrictions

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on June 25, 2020
uae, dubai, coronavirus, covid-19, sterilization programme

(KT file)

Earlier, residents were required to stay home during the sterilisation programme, from 11pm to 6am in Dubai, and 10pm to 6am in other emirates.

Residents heaved a sigh of relief as the UAE announced lifting of movement restrictions in the country on Wednesday evening.

The lifting of the movement restrictions comes after a gap of three months as the country announced that it had completed its national sterilisation drive. Although calling the news welcoming, many residents said they will tread with care, take all precautions and will avoid going out till the situation "stablises" a bit more, which for them means seeing the UAE getting completely rid of Covid-19 cases.

Expressing happiness at the news, Filipina Jan Allen said the advent of Covid-19 has changed her definition of normal forever. "We have been confined to our homes for over two months and have learnt many important life lessons with the outbreak of this disease which have changed our definition of normal. I am so happy to hear this positive news and I am glad that life is getting back to normal little by little. But I will wait a bit longer to celebrate this freedom fully until we completely get rid of this virus. We are glad to be in the UAE that has taught us to adapt to changes gradually and like the government has urged us to take precautions, we will not let our guard down and go about our daily chores while taking all precautions."

British national Lianda Leach said she felt very comfortable and settled knowing that the country is going back to the "new normal", which include wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

"Just hearing this news about life coming back to normal with no restrictions is comforting. I feel more confident in going out with my children as the authorities here are ensuring things are under control, people are taking precautions and a thorough sanitisation is happening," she said.

More than the time restrictions, Lianda said she was happy about the restrictions being lifted on children being allowed at public places such as malls. "Being a mother of two kids aged one year and three years, it was hard to stay at home as they were used to accompanying me to the malls, going out for walks or even grocery shopping. My three-year-old would throw a tantrum when he sees me stepping out for grocery shopping without him and he is too young to understand that it was for our own safety. Also with the summer here, I would not take them outside in the open due to the heat. So, I am glad that now I can take them to malls or to indoor gaming arcades."

Calling Covid-19 a "wake up" call, Lebanese expatriate and businesswoman Rana Gemayel said: "Even if things go back to normal, the Covid-19 crisis has changed our lifestyle completely for good. My folks and I were very fond of going out for dinners, clubbing and get-togethers at night but since this virus threat is still looming, we will not be going out as much as we did previously. Being in the events industry, we have taken a massive hit so we are just hoping that our business revives and we regain our financial stability for now. We are very happy that things are returning to normal and the sight of seeing people out and about, taking all precautions is delightful. It is a glimmer of hope that we will bounce back once again soon if we abide by the law and take precautions."

Earlier, the residents were required to stay home during the national sterilisation programme between 11pm and 6am in Dubai and 10pm and 6am in all other emirates.

With the lifting of movement restrictions effective today, residents can travel freely any time of the day or night. The UAE authorities have also lifted the ban - in all seven emirates - on children under the age of 12 visiting shopping malls.

saman@khaleejtimes.com


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