As many prepare for a six-day weekend next week due to the Eid Al Adha break, UAE authorities are urging the public to be mindful, issuing a series of protocols in order to minimise the potential rise in cases.

It was outlined by Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokesperson for the UAE’s Ministry of Health, that it’s been evident there’s been a “significant increase” in COVID-19 cases and deaths following the last three public holidays.

She noted that last year over the Eid Al Adha break cases increase over 500 per cent and the recent Eid Al Fitr saw cases rise more than 60 per cent.

With this in mind, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) outlined a series of protocols in order to curb the spread of the virus.

Eid Al-Adha prayers are permitted to be conducted in mosques, so longs as social distancing measures are adhered to and the maximum period of Khutbah is 15 minutes.

Doors of mosques will open 15 minutes prior to the start of prayer time and will close immediately after. Worshippers are also urged to bring their own prayer mats.

The NCEMA also recommends that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions avoid going to perform the Eid prayer.

Similarly, it’s advised that people should “avoid all types of gatherings and shaking hands before and after Eid prayers, and limit greeting and congratulations from a safe distance.”

When it comes to gatherings with family and friends, the NCEMA has advised that only families living together and first-degree relatives should meet, advising PCR tests should be taken prior to gatherings. It’s also advised that masks should be worn and family members should keep a “safe distance”.

“We also recommend avoiding shaking hands and hugging and the use of electronic alternatives of communication to distribute Ediya (Eid money),” the NCEMA said.

The NCEMA spokesperson also added, “The UAE is pressing ahead towards sustainable recovery. Today, we see the gradual return of activities to normality.”

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