New Years Eve in UAE: Covid safety rules to prevent surge in cases after celebrations

Authorities have reiterated that Covid safety is a shared responsibility


Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 29 Dec 2021, 12:53 PM

Last updated: Fri 16 Sep 2022, 10:16 AM

With the UAE all set to welcome New Year 2022 with celebrations across the Emirates, authorities have reiterated that Covid safety is a shared responsibility.

An infographic shared by the UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) on Tuesday highlights how daily Covid-19 cases rose sharply after the New Year’s Eve celebrations in January 2021.

Source: Screengrab from a video tweeted by NCEMA
Source: Screengrab from a video tweeted by NCEMA

The graph shows a relatively low number of daily cases in November and December of 2020. It then takes an upward turn post the New Year’s Eve celebrations. After the celebrations, average daily cases had shot up by 200 per cent, reaching nearly 4,000 in January 2021.

The NCEMA graph goes on to highlight how the daily cases remained low in November this year, with a sharp increase reported in December after the detection of the Omicron variant.

Cases have shot up from less than 50 to over 1,800 in under a month. It then suggests safety measures that residents must follow to curb further increase after the celebrations.

Source: Screengrab from a video tweeted by NCEMA
Source: Screengrab from a video tweeted by NCEMA

“The role of addressing the pandemic is not only limited to medical teams. The community also plays a major role, as the country is adopting an appropriate policy based on maintaining balance between remaining open and ensuring safety,” a government spokesperson said.

She urged residents to follow all Covid safety measures “as infection risks are present and the world is still battling the pandemic”.

“It is essential to adopt healthy and responsible habits and practices, such as wearing face masks, leaving a safe distance while participating in social events, performing regular tests and sanitising regularly,” she added.

Abu Dhabi issues important safety reminders

Authorities in the UAE Capital have ramped up Covid safety measures ahead of the holiday season.

Border checks have been reintroduced, with vaccinated residents and tourists allowed to enter only if they have a Green Pass on their AlHosn app. Those who are not vaccinated will need to present a negative PCR test result received within 96 hours.

Source: Government of Abu Dhabi Media Office
Source: Government of Abu Dhabi Media Office

Operating capacity of social events like weddings, funerals and family gatherings have been reduced as well.

The Abu Dhabi Government Media Office on Wednesday issued important reminders for residents to celebrate the New Year’s Eve safely.

“These include avoiding crowded places, practising physical distancing, and receiving a booster vaccine dose, for those eligible,” the media office tweeted.

Dubai ramps up safety

Authorities in Dubai have reminded New Year’s Eve revellers that masking up remains a mandatory requirement to attend events - both indoor and outdoor. Failure to do so is punishable with a Dh3,000 fine, Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said.

Those who violate other precautionary measures may face fines and penalties.

To ensure a socially distanced New Year’s Eve celebrations, Dubai is hosting fireworks display at 29 locations across the Emirate.

Chairman of the committee, Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: "Dubai has continuously monitored local and global developments to take the decisive action necessary to protect the community and implement precautionary measures outlined by local and international health authorities. Every member of the community should stringently observe the preventive guidelines in place, including wearing face masks and observing social distancing, to protect their families and others.”

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