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New measures implemented by the UAE authorities in response to COVID-19

Afridi & Angell inBrief

By Charles Laubach

This supplements our inBrief dated 3 April 2020, which reported on measures implemented by the UAE authorities in response to COVID-19 up to 9:00 a.m. that day. Many new measures have been introduced since then. We now report on new measures taken up to 9:00 a.m. on Monday 6 April 2020.


Sterilisation and Stay Home Initiative


Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management (the “Committee”), in coordination with the Command and Control Centre for Combating COVID-19, introduced a sterilisation and Stay Home programme on Thursday 26 March 2020. The programme took effect between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day and remained in place thereafter. On Saturday, 4 April 2020, the programme was extended and expanded so as to enforce a 24-hour round-the-clock restriction on the movement of people and vehicles across all areas and communities in Dubai for a period of two weeks, subject to renewal. Persons who leave their residences under the expanded programme must wear masks and gloves at all times and observe the safe distance policy.




1. The General Public – members of the general public are allowed to leave their residences in limited circumstances. Only one member of each household may leave the residence at one time, and then only for the following essential purposes:


• buying food from food supply outlets and medicine from pharmacies;

• attending to doctors’ appointments at hospital, clinics and other healthcare services providers; and

• COVID-19 tests.


A member of the general public who wishes to leave his or her residence for any other purpose must obtain a movement permit for such purpose, available through an online application.


On Sunday, 5 April 2020, the Committee announced a further expansion of the movement restriction, mandating that any member of the general public must obtain a movement permit prior to any departure from the person’s residence.


2. Vital Sectors – employees working in the below vital sectors are permitted to leave their house at any time of the day to commute to work:


• Healthcare services (hospitals, clinics and pharmacies)

• Food supply outlets (Union Cooperative outlets, supermarkets, groceries)

• Delivery services (food and medicine)

• Restaurants (operations limited to home deliveries only)

• Manufacturers of medicines and providers of healthcare and medical supplies

• Industrial sector (only vital industries)

• Industrial supply chain for services and basic commodities

• Water and electricity sector, petrol and gas stations and district cooling services

• Telecommunications sector

• Media sector

• Airports, airlines, ports, shipping

• Customs duty and border crossings

• Public and private security services

• Municipality services and public and private service providers involved in garbage collection, sewage management and general cleaning and sanitation

• Private and government sector organisations involved in combating the coronavirus (COVID-19)

• Public transport (buses and taxis only; metro and tram services will be suspended)

• Construction sector, subject to obtaining a permit from Dubai Municipality and the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs

3. Support Sectors – employees working in these sectors are permitted to commute to work between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.:

• Banking and financial services (banks and exchange centres)

• Social welfare services

• Laundry services (for permitted outlets)

• Maintenance services


Clarification of Ministerial Resolution No. 281 of 2020 on the Regulation of Remote Work in Private Sector Establishments (Resolution)


On Sunday, 5 April 2020, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation issued a clarification to Article 3 of the Resolution by specifying activities that are exempt from the provisions in Article 1. These activities are:


• Infrastructure projects including road and bridge works, water supply and sewerage, power networks and telecommunications, construction sites, construction and contracting companies, and engineering consultancies.

• Catering companies: cooperatives and food sale outlets.

• Energy companies: oil companies, oil refineries, power plants, gas and fuel stations.

• Education sector: schools, universities and colleges.

• Financial sector: banks, money exchange companies, and cash transport firms.

• Food industry: manufacturing and distribution of food.

• Hospitality sector: hotels, restaurants and catering companies.

• Sterilisation and cleaning products factories, medical supplies factories, and cleaning companies.

• Health sector: hospitals, pharmacies, pharmaceutical factories, clinics and all medical services.


Article 1 of the Resolution states that the number of workers in a private establishment or the number of customers at a service centre shall at no time exceed 30 per cent of the total number of workers or customer seating capacity. ■

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