Dubai shuts bars after coronavirus burst

DUBAI – Dubai ordered bars and pubs to close until the end of the month to suppress a spike in coronavirus cases after tourists flocked to the emirate over the holiday period.

The closures, effective from Tuesday, are among a raft of steps “taken in response to rising violations of preventive measures,” authorities said in a statement.

Indoor venues, including cinemas and sports venues, will have their capacity cut by half.

Dubai’s vast shopping malls, as well as hotels, swimming pools and private beaches, must operate at 70 percent of capacity.

Restaurants and cafes are required to close by 1am.

“Penalties will be strictly imposed on anyone found posing a risk to public health by deliberately disregarding preventive measures or not observing them properly,” the Crisis and Disaster Management committee said.

Dubai has sought to manage the pandemic without closing its doors, and in July reopened to tourism — an economic mainstay which has been badly battered during the pandemic.

But while masks and social distancing are mandatory, it has not prevented a sharp increase in cases in the new year after Dubai branded itself as an open, sunny and quarantine-free winter escape.

Updated: February 2, 2021 — 12:25 pm

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