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Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: Overstayers granted time till year-end; guidelines issued for upcoming holidays

ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on November 18, 2020

A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country.

Here's a round-up of all the latest Covid-19 developments you need to know:

UAE reports 1,255 Covid-19 cases, 715 recoveries, 4 deaths

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 1,255 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 715 recoveries. Four deaths were also reported. As many as 105,024 new Covid-19 tests were carried out, taking the total to over 15.1 million Covid-19 tests so far. People who have overstayed their UAE visas now have until the end of the year to leave the country without having to pay fines, the authorities have announced. The short-term amnesty, which was introduced on May 14, was supposed to end today, November 17. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) said illegal residents, whose visas expired before March 1, would have their fines waived if they are able to exit the UAE on or before the end of December.

No gatherings allowed for UAE National Day, Christmas, New Year, say authorities

With big holidays coming up — from the UAE National Day to Christmas and New Year — residents are reminded that strict Covid-19 safety protocols will remain in place and celebrations should be held virtually, the authorities said on Tuesday. Private gatherings are prohibited. “No gatherings are allowed for celebrations. No food or gifts can be exchanged. People can take part in the celebrations virtually,” an official said during the UAE Government’s media briefing. “Concerts that last for more than three to four hours cannot be held without prior approval.”

UAE extends visa fine waiver until end of 2020

People who have overstayed their UAE visas now have until the end of the year to leave the country without having to pay fines, the authorities have announced. The short-term amnesty, which was introduced on May 14, was supposed to end today, November 17. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) said illegal residents, whose visas expired before March 1, would have their fines waived if they are able to exit the UAE on or before the end of December. All penalties and restrictions involving Emirates IDs and work permits shall also be lifted, said Major-General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, ICA’s Director-General for Foreigners Affairs and Ports.

UAE doctors see rise in hearing issues due to headphone use in Covid-19 era

Doctors in the UAE have recently observed a rise in the number of students complaining about hearing problems, and they believe this could be attributed it to long hours of headphone use in the time of Covid-19. The medics have urged parents to keep their kids’ hearing protected as they sit for online classes for hours, with their head sets on. Video chats with friends and relatives, as well as games and entertainment, are other factors that increase children’s reliance on earphones. An ENT specialist in Dubai warned that listening to headphone audio that is too loud and for too long may result in permanent hearing damage.

UAE companies should consider hybrid work environment, say top executives

Companies in UAE should consider a hybrid work environment, a combination of office and remote working, as a permanent feature - and provide employees with the necessary tools, techniques and equipment for a suitable work environment at home, say top UAE executives. The issue of a hybrid work environment was raised during a campaign, titled 'Let’s Create a Healthy and Happy Workplace', organised by the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Week 2020. The virtual round table shed light on the opportunities and challenges associated with physical, psychological and professional aspects of remote working during and post Covid-19 pandemic.

author

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.





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