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COVID-19 MENA Update

LATEST STATUS:

01.07.2020 - 23:00 CET



Most governments in the Middle East announced that all economic sectors operating in this stage can return to normal working hours as they were before the global outbreak of COVID-19, while adhering to precautionary measures, such as placing physical-distancing stickers, wearing masks and gloves, providing sterilization devices, and checking body temperature of people entering.


Meanwhile it was affirmed that the return to normal life and allowing movement does not mean that pandemic has reached to an end and inspection teams will continue their campaigns across stores, commercial establishments, and shopping centers, and the law will be implemented strictly and firmly to safeguard the interests and safety of the public.





United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi has shifted from a mandatory travel permit requirement to a valid proof of COVID negative result certificate issued max 48 hours in advance to anyone coming to Abu Dhabi from abroad or any other Emirates.


Dubai allows freely enter and exit throughout the day without restrictions.

According to Pandemic control Centre, businesses are allowed limited percentage of workforce can continue working from home. Companies are required to limit the number of customers visiting their premises to 30% and to strictly observe health and safety precautions. For those employees working on the premises, employers are required to implement protective measures, including providing screening devices on the premises to take employee temperature and check symptoms of the virus twice a day, and refer suspected cases to the health authorities.


Dubai Airports are back to full activity receiving visitors 7th July. Valid COVID-free certificate is required upon arrival at check point or otherwise test will be performed at the airport at additional cost. Visitors are also required to have international health insurance and to download a special phone application that lists their details, as well as fill a special health declaration form.


Dubai also announced return of Dubai Shopping Festival starting the 9th July – 28th August.



Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has removed all remaining domestic restrictions but International travel and border crossings remain closed.


The Government is encouraging businesses to return to a normal work schedule and appears keen to capitalise on the expected summer domestic tourism boom after this long lock down.



Qatar

Qatar announced restrictions eased from today Wednesday, July 1, as the country enters the second stage of the normalization plan. From Wednesday, restaurants will be able to resume operations at a limited capacity and public parks and beaches will reopen. Offices will also be allowed to reopen at a maximum of 50 percent capacity. Private and public gatherings should not exceed a five-person limit.


The third phase, expected to begin from August 1, will permit the total reopening of malls, and the limited reopening of health clubs, gyms, swimming pools, and salons.


Flights from low-risk countries will be permitted for priority passengers, such as returning residents.


The fourth phase, from September 1, will see the lifting of restrictions on larger gatherings and the reopening of theaters, museums, libraries, cinemas, and mosques, as well as the resumption of regular flight schedules.



Jordan

The situation in Jordan is under control and now citizens can move freely between governorates from 6 am to 11 pm. Religious activities have been resumed as well. However, cinemas, public parks, theme parks and wedding halls remain closed. Schools continue to work with distance learning, heading towards the end of the academic year.

Oman

Normal air traffic is not likely to be resumed soon.

The country is starting to gradually resume economic activities, lifting the restriction measures but still banning social, sports, cultural and recreational activities; mosques are closed, except for the call for prayer. The Minister of Health has reinforced that treatment for coronavirus is offered free of charge to all expatriate patients and that no infected expatriate will be asked to show his/her type of residency during diagnosis.

Kuwait

A decision was issued today on a three-stage resumption starting at 30% capacity.


The three-week phase will see the curfew shortened to between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.


In this phase, workforces in government and private sectors should be less than 30 per cent, in addition to the resumption of work in the construction sector, banking, malls opening for eight hours and according to special instructions

Bahrain

Only nationals and residents of Bahrain, Nationals of Kuwait, Oman, UAE and Saudi Arabia are allowed to travel to Bahrain.


Border crossing on the causeway to Saudi Arabia will open the 28th July.

Egypt

Earlier this week, Egyptian authorities eased restrictions on Cafes, restaurants, places of worships, cinemas, cultural centers, and sports facilities will be permitted to partially reopen with 25% capacity, and will have to close by 22:00. This new closing time is to remain in place after all other coronavirus disease measures have been lifted as a permanent restriction. The nationwide curfew will be reduced to 00:00 to 04:00.


Egyptian authorities have announced that they will allow scheduled international flights to resume operations and foreign tourist resorts to reopen in coastal areas from July 1. Resorts will only be allowed to operate at a limited capacity and will need to prove their ability to implement strict mitigation measures.


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


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