Abu Dhabi to bar unvaccinated from schools and shops

From August, Abu Dhabi will bar those who are not jabbed from shops, schools and cafes.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has the world’s highest vaccination rate, has announced the unvaccinated will soon not be allowed to enter shopping centres, restaurants, schools or museums in its capital of Abu Dhabi.

“The decision is in line with the emirate’s strategy to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and complements preventive and precautionary measures taken to preserve public health,” the Abu Dhabi government said in a statement on Monday.

It’s one of a number of sweeping steps being taken around the world as nations attempt to emerge from the pandemic and return to a level of normality.

Last week, Singapore said breathalyser Covid tests at shopping centres and workplaces could be rolled out alongside axing quarantine and ditching daily case numbers as part of a plan to “live with Covid”.

In Russia, which is battling mass vaccine hesitancy, there are warnings people could be sacked from a range of jobs including bar work if they don’t get the jab.

Measured by doses administered per 100 people, the UAE has had the world’s most successful vaccine rollout. The Middle Eastern country of 10 million has delivered 15 million jabs which is 154 per 100 residents. It’s estimated that amounts to around 77 per cent of residents being fully vaccinated.

It has used the US-German Pfizer shot, China’s Sinovac and Russia’s Sputnik V jab.

The country is seeing around 2000 new Covid-19 cases per day, about half its peak, and six daily deaths.

The UAE is divided into seven emirates which, largely look after their own health policy.

Abu Dhabi, the nation’s capital and second most populous emirate after Dubai, has said it has now reached its goal of vaccinating 93 per cent of “target groups”.

The emirate’s government has said it will give everyone else until August 20 to get their jabs. After that, much of the region will be off limits.

“The Abu Dhabi emergency, crisis and disasters committee has approved allowing entry into a number of public places for only those vaccinated,” it stated.

“The first phase will include shopping centres, restaurants, cafes and all other retail outlets.”

The decision also includes gyms, recreational facilities and sporting activities, health clubs, resorts, museums, cultural centres and theme parks, as well as universities, institutes, public and private schools and kindergartens.

Locals will have to present an app with proof of their vaccination status.

The hard line measures will not apply to children under 15 and those exempt from vaccinations.

After August 10, those who have not had their shots will still be able to enter supermarkets and pharmacies – but that’s about it.

“The committee stated the decision would enhance safety in areas that have been subject to additional precautionary measures and provide enhanced protection for community members,” the government said.

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