Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Emirate of Dubai, UAE, imposes new movement restrictions from 2000 April 4 as part of expanded COVID-19 disinfection effort.

This alert affects Dubai

This alert began 04 Apr 2020 20:38 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Emirate of Dubai (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 18
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions; increased security

Summary
Authorities in the Emirate of Dubai imposed a strict set of new movement restrictions which entered into force 2000 April 4 as part of an expanded effort to disinfect public places to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The new restrictions will remain in effect for at least two weeks. The sterilization operations had previously been taking place overnight between 2000-0600 since March 26 but have now been extended to 24 hours per day. While the new movement limitations are in place, residents will only be permitted to leave their homes to purchase necessities such as food and medicine, work in vital sectors, or seek medical or emergency assistance. Food and medicine delivery services will continue to operate. Additionally, authorities plan to conduct extensive medical tests across densely populated areas of Dubai to ensure that residents are not infected.

Background and Analysis
The Emirate of Dubai's preventive measures are similar to actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Individuals affected by the restrictions should consider postponing planned travel. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization: www.who.int