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COVID-19 MENA Update

LATEST STATUS:

11.06.2020 - 19:00 CET


- Most of the GCC states have experienced a relatively rapid rise in cases during the first two weeks of April, their death rates have remained low in comparison to worse-hit countries in the world.


- GCC countries are moving fast to remove restrictions on movement and mass gatherings –aiming at slowly back to the new norm. The result has been fairly successful with business back & keeping numbers under control.


- Most of the countries are currently discussing full reopening of borders, subject to the removal of travel restrictions by implementing a series of strategic measures in conjunction with their counterparts.



United Arab Emirates

UAE released a list of stricter fines for those who violate coronavirus rules and restrictions. This week they started releasing photos of people who violated the country’s coronavirus precautionary measures, including identifying them by their abbreviated names, nationality and fines imposed.

Last week Abu Dhabi's issued travel ban from all Emirates to Abu Dhabi & Al Ain. This week travel ban has been extended for another week.


Meanwhile, authorities announced that schools across UAE will reopen on August 30, introducing new model with a mixture of remote learning and classroom teaching.


Hotels, restaurants and touristic attractions are fully reopened. All hotels require to test all employees every 15 days. Guests or employees displaying symptoms of Covid-19 will not be allowed to enter hotel facilities. Additionally, hotels must also leave 24-hour gaps between guests leaving and a new guest occupying it.


Other facilities, such as restaurants and cafes – will be allowed to operate between 6 am and 9 pm, with four people permitted per table. Distances of 2.5 metres must be maintained between tables. Gyms and swimming pools were also allowed to operate with a predetermined cap on capacity. Beaches are divided into sections to avoid overcrowding. Some facilities, such as prayer rooms and kids’ areas – remain closed.


Saudi Arabia

The suspension on workplace attendance has also been lifted, allowing all employees in ministries, government entities and private sector companies to return to work from their offices.


Earlier this week, authorities re-imposed restrictions on the city of Jeddah from Saturday as the number of coronavirus cases continued to grow. The restrictions will prohibit movement in all areas of the city from 3 pm to 6 am and ban dining in restaurants and cafes until June 20.


Domestic travel between provinces is allowed and can move freely during non-curfew hours (6 am to 8 pm). However, the general guidelines do not apply to the city of Mecca, which remains on lockdown.



Qatar

Qatar will start lifting coronavirus restrictions in four phases, planning to start on June 15.

The second phase will allow a partial reopening of restaurants and the third will permit the resumption of flights from low-risk countries and the reopening of shopping malls and markets with limited capacity. The second phase will start on July 1 followed by the final two phases beginning on August 1 and September 1.

The fourth will allow wedding parties, business gatherings such as exhibitions, and the reopening of theaters and cinemas.



Jordan

Jordan had now returned to near normality with toughening enforcement of social distancing to ensure there is no risk of a resurgence of infections. All domestic tourism destinations are now open at full capacity.


The government reopened mosques & churches.


Cinemas, public parks, universities, schools and nurseries will remain closed and any activity involving close mass gathering is banned.



Oman:

On Tuesday Oman has allowed reopening more commercial activities. Commercial activities will be allowed to function from 7am to 7pm


Kuwait:

Kuwait International airport receiving more travellers, providing them tracking bracelet for mandatory home quarantine adhering to strict health measures.

Most of the amenities have been reopened with controlled measures and deportation for violators.



Bahrain:

Ministry of Health is running testing campaigns including mobile testing units deployed to homes, shopping malls and mosques.


Egypt:

Summer holidays and economic situation are pushing more Egyptians & families travelling back home putting additional effort on the healthcare system. Cairo International Airport authorities decided to cancel the mandatory quarantine of Egyptians returning home. Instead, they are insisting passengers sign an affidavit to adhere to domestic isolation for several days. Ministry of Health said the worst was yet to come in the remainder of June.


Meanwhile, the government advised gradual resumption of international flights starting the second half of June & the beginning of July

Article by: Jamil Juma, Regional Manager MENA & CIS jamilj@marm.com.tr


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