Hotels and restaurants in Dubai have been told to halt all live entertainment in their venues amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.
The directive from Dubai Tourism, which affects performances by DJs, dancers and bands, came after a rise in the number of breaches found during inspections.
It said officials had recorded 200 offences in three weeks and temporarily shut down 20 establishments.
Licensed premises have not taken the directive to mean the closure of bars and restaurants – which were all closed during the first wave in April last year – but sought further clarity from the authorities.
The decision follows a busy season for Dubai’s tourism sector, with hotel occupancy above 70 per cent.
But new infections have spiked since the Christmas and New Year holidays, rising from about 1,000 per day in late December to 3,500 per day. As of Wednesday, January 20 , the country had seen a nine-day record of rising cases.
Thursday’s move follows an instruction by Dubai Health Authority to healthcare centres to cancel all non-essential surgery for a month.
The same decision was made last March to protect at-risk patients and release equipment such as ventilators.
“The department observed, through field inspection, an increase in [the] number of violations during entertainment activities in hotels and restaurants,” said Dubai Tourism in a note to establishments in the emirate.
“Accordingly, the department directs all concerned in hotel establishments and restaurants to temporarily hold entertainment activities as of Thursday, January 21, 2021, until further notice.
“The department will continuously assess the new situation with the health authorities.
“We appreciate your constant co-operation and value your efforts to serve the public good and protect the health and safety of society.”
Source: The National