Abu Dhabi to Ban Unvaccinated People from Most Public Places
Abu Dhabi will ban people unvaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus from most public places starting August 20, the city’s government media office announced Monday.
“The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has approved allowing entry into a number of public places for only those vaccinated, effective from Friday, August 20, 2021,” the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office wrote in a statement posted to its official website and Twitter account on June 28.
“The decision covers shopping centres, restaurants, cafes, gyms, recreational facilities, sporting activities and all other retail outlets not within shopping centres, except those selling essential goods such as supermarkets and pharmacies,” the statement read.
“The first phase of 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 children nurseries in the emirate,” the media office of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) capital stated.
The public space ban will not apply to people who present an approved form exempting them from receiving a Chinese coronavirus vaccine and children age 15 or under.
The committee said its decision to implement the public ban on unvaccinated people was “in line with the emirate’s strategy to combat the Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] pandemic and complements preventive and precautionary measures taken to preserve public health. It also comes after vaccinating more than 93 per cent of target groups in Abu Dhabi.”
The U.A.E. has the highest Chinese coronavirus vaccination rate in the world with a rate of 154 doses administered per 100 people, according to a New York Times vaccination tracker. A Reuters vaccination tracker estimated the U.A.E. had fully inoculated 77.1 percent of the country’s population against the Chinese coronavirus as of June 29. Despite the promising statistics, the Gulf Arab state recorded its highest daily death toll from the disease since March on June 26. The U.A.E.’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) blamed the increased deaths on new foreign strains of the Chinese coronavirus.
“The country is averaging just over 2,100 new cases and 6 new deaths each day, data from Johns Hopkins University shows,” Forbes reported of the U.A.E.’s coronavirus caseload on June 28.
The U.A.E. has relied heavily upon the Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine candidate made by the firm Sinopharm for its state-run coronavirus inoculation campaign since December 9, 2020, when the Gulf Arab state became the first nation outside of China to approve Sinopharm for emergency use. The U.A.E. granted Sinopharm an emergency use authorization despite a lack of public data on its safety and effectiveness at the time.
Sinopharm has yet to publish late-stage clinical data on the vaccine candidate’s efficacy and safety in scientific journals. Despite the continued failure to publicly release Sinopharm’s clinical data, China National Pharmaceutical Group gained emergency use authorization for Sinopharm from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) on May 7.
U.A.E. State Health Sector Spokeswoman Farida Al Hosani encouraged people in the country to receive a third “booster shot” of Sinopharm on May 18 amid doubts over Sinopharm’s efficacy. The Chinese-made shot officially requires just two doses.