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The New Arab

UAE to allow residents barred from country over coronavirus to return home

Hundreds of UAE residents have been locked out of the country [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 May, 2020

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The UAE has announced plans to reopen its doors to thousands of residents that were locked out of the country due to coronavirus concerns.
Hundreds of UAE residents who have been locked out of the country due to the coronavirus crisis will soon be allowed to return to their homes, authorities announced on Tuesday.

The ministry of foreign affairs said it would allow UAE residents who have been stranded outside the country since March - often separated from their family members - to return to the Gulf state from 1 June.

Residents will have to register with authorities for an entry permit before they are allowed back into the country, according to WAM news agency.

"The move is aimed at streamlining their safe return to the UAE," the ministry of foreign affairs stated.

The UAE began to close its borders on 19 March, after the global spread of the coronavirus and an outbreak within its own borders.

Residents were barred from re-entering the country from this date, although authorities later eased restrictions for certain "essential workers", such as doctors.

Emirati citizens were also allowed back into the country on special repatriation flights.

The UAE ordered a nationwide lockdown in March when coronavirus swept through the country, later easing restrictions to allow people to leave their homes to exercise.

Anyone caught in public not wearing a face mask will be subject to a $800 fine, authorities announced on Monday.

Anyone hosting a house party will be subject to a 10,000 dirham fine ($2,700) and each attendee will have to pay a 5,000 dirham penalty (around $1,400).

A recent spike in coronvirus cases in the UAE has seen a night-time curfew extended by two hours, lasting from 8pm to 6am.

The UAE has reported more than 24,000 coronavirus cases with 224 people dying from the disease.

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