UAE to expand nightly curfew after increase in coronavirus cases

The United Arab Emirates will extend a nightly curfew by two hours from this week after reporting an increase in daily cases of the coronavirus, an official said on Monday.

The curfew, which currently runs from 10 pm to 6 am, would start at 8 pm on Wednesday until further notice, Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, told a news conference.

The UAE on Monday reported 832 infections and four deaths from the virus to take its count to 24,190 with 224 deaths.

Some emirates, including business and tourism hub Dubai, allowed malls to reopen at limited capacity during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that began on April 24. Dubai has also allowed dine-in restaurants and cafes to resume business at 30% capacity and public parks to reopen with restrictions.

Dhaheri urged those celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of Ramadan to avoid family gatherings. He said malls could operate from 9 am to 7 pm during Eid with shoppers allowed to be there for a maximum of two hours.

Another official detailed an updated list of penalties for violation of containment measures, including a fine of 50,000 dirhams ($13,000) for not heeding quarantine orders and 3,000 dirhams for not wearing a face mask or practicing physical distancing in public, or breaking curfew.

The official said the public prosecutor would impose penalties of up to six months in prison or a fine of no less than 100,000 dirhams for repeat offenders.

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