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Abu Dhabi to ban unvaccinated people from most public places

By
Don Jacobson
Residents lined up to receive a dose of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at Guru Nanak Darbar temple in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on February 7. File photo by Ali Haider/EPA-EFE
Residents lined up to receive a dose of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at Guru Nanak Darbar temple in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on February 7. File photo by Ali Haider/EPA-EFE

June 28 (UPI) -- Health officials in Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, announced Monday that most public places will be closed to those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 starting in August.

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, unveiling some of the strictest rules for unvaccinated residents yet seen anywhere in the world, said the measures are "in line with the Emirate's strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic."

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Beginning Aug. 20, shopping centers, restaurants, cafes and all other retail outlets will be off-limits to the unvaccinated under the first phase of the rules.

Gyms, recreational facilities and sporting activities, health clubs, resorts, museums, cultural centers and theme parks, as well as universities, institutes, public and private schools and children's nurseries will also be banned to the unvaccinated in the initial phase.

The restrictions come after more than 95% of "target groups" in Abu Dhabi have already been vaccinated, officials said.

Earlier pandemic measures taken in the UAE include pre-emptive testing campaigns in industrial and densely populated areas and the use of "modern and innovative technologies to detect infection," the committee said in an issued statement.

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The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention confirmed about 2,000 new COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing its total number of recorded cases to more than 625,000.

Nearly 1,800 UAE residents have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

A year in pandemic: How COVID-19 changed the world

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National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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