Dubai shuts bars as Covid cases rise


The party's over for now in Dubai as restrictions are placed on pools, bars and beaches.


Dubai has shut all bars and pubs until the end of the month in a bid to curb climbing Covid cases.


Restaurants and cafes, although allowed to remain open, must close at 1am.


As well, cinemas and entertainment and sports venues will have their capacity slashed to 50%. And pools - including hotel pools - beaches and malls must operate at 70% capacity.


According to a statement from The Dubai Media Office, the restrictions have been introduced due to a “marked increase in the number of violations of precautionary measures… The measures seek to further enhance efforts to combat Covid-19 and protect the health and safety of all citizens, residents and visitors.”


The emirate has witnessed rapidly rising infections over the last month following a busy winter welcoming international guests, including scores of celebrity social media ‘influencers’ from the United Kingdom. Dubai was one of the only regions in the world to have reopened to international travellers without the need to quarantine.


However, rising infections meant it was recently added to Hong Kong’s ‘B’ list of ‘high-to-extremely-high’ risk countries and Britain added it to a new ‘red’ list of countries last week. Flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi into the UK are currently banned.


Last week, Dubai strengthened its own entry restrictions, requiring all travellers to test before arrival. British and German tourists had previously been exempt from the regulation and had been able to test for free on arrival.