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Covid 19: Gulf countries impose tougher restrictions

Covid 19: Gulf countries impose tougher restrictions

Gulf Arab states have introduced restrictions to curb the spread amidst the surge in the coronavirus. Here are the list of countries and the restrictions imposed by them.

1. Bahrain

The state news agency, BNA reported on Friday that Bahrain is to reimpose restrictions from Sunday (Feb 7) for two weeks amidst sharp rise in cases over the past month.

The Kingdom has ordered temporary closure of indoor gyms, sports halls and swimming pools and all social gatherings to be limited to up to 30 people until Feb 27. Government institutions and entities will permit 70% of employees to work from home.

The Kingdom also warned that legal action will be taken against individuals or facilities violating the precautionary measures issued by the authorities.

2. Kuwait

The Gulf country's cabinet has announced strict restrictions in the country starting from February 7th (Sunday). All commercial facilities, except pharmacies, medical outlets, are to remain closed from 8PM- 5AM every day. The authorities also ordered a temporary ban on halls and tents for celebrations and gatherings, including the national holiday celebrations to be held this month. All sports events have also been suspended.

Kuwait has also decided to suspend entry to the non-nationals for two weeks starting from February 7.

3. Qatar

Amidst a surge in COVID-19 infections, Qatar has reimposed restrictions from Thursday (Feb 4) on education and other commercial sectors including leisure and business activities. The authorities announced closure of indoor swimming pools, theme parks and restricting restaurant capacities.

The Health Ministry stated that outdoor gatherings should be limited to 15 people, while indoor gatherings should be no more than five people. Qatari markets should operate at 50 percent capacity and nurseries at 30 percent capacity.

"These increases appear to be early signs of a potential second wave in Qatar," the Ministry stated.

4. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has also tightened restrictions by closing cinemas, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, gyms and sports centres for 10 days. Events, parties and gatherings are also suspended for 30 days.

The Saudi government announced on Wednesday (Feb 3), the flight suspension to 20 countries for two weeks, exempting entry of Saudi citizens, diplomats, and medical practitioners and their families. The Kingdom's Ministry of Interior announced its extension of the reopening of its borders to May 17th instead of March 31st due to the delay in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supply.

5. Oman

Oman has had its land borders closed since mid-January. The sultanate has imposed a ban on all group events and social gatherings and extended distance learning.

The country also advised citizens and residents last week against foreign travel amidst detecting people infected with coronavirus variants in the country.

6. The United Arab Emirates

Dubai imposed a set of precautionary measures from February 2 effective until the end of the month including closure of pubs and suspending entertainment activities in the premises of restaurants or cafes.

Malls at Abu Dhabi are ordered to function at 40 percent capacity while Dubai shopping malls at 70 percent capacity. Cinemas at Abu Dhabi and Al Ain have been shut.

Abu Dhabi has also tightened entry rules for those within UAE such as negative PCR/DPI test result within 48 hours, PCR test on day four and day eight of entry.

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TAGS:Middle East UpdatesCovid 19 updates
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