Monday, 30th October 2017

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UAE imposes new entry restrictions

Saudi Arabia, reporting 67 new infections to bring its total to 238, suspended most private sector activities

By Reuters in Riyadh and Dubai
  • Published 20.03.20, 3:28 AM
  • Updated 20.03.20, 3:28 AM
  • a min read
  •  
An empty shopping mall in Dubai. (AFP)

The UAE imposed sweeping entry restrictions meant to curb the coronavirus outbreak, barring residents currently outside the country from returning for at least two weeks and pausing issuance of new work permits and visas on arrival.

The UAE, a major international air transit centre and the Gulf region’s tourism and business hub, also banned its citizens from going abroad and will require those returning to stay at home for two weeks.

The measures, which take effect on Thursday, are the latest in a series of exceptional moves, including cancelling the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and closing mosques, malls and restaurants across the region.

Saudi Arabia, reporting 67 new infections to bring its total to 238, suspended most private sector activities and cut its state budget by nearly 5 per cent, as the outbreak and low oil prices threaten growth.

Kuwait recorded 12 more cases, pushing total infections in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council over 1,200. The steering committee of countries participating in Expo 2020, a world fair starting in October that the UAE hopes will boost its economy, met virtually and said it would reassess the situation in coming weeks. The central bank encouraged residents to bank online.