As paranoia surrounding the "Delta" variant intensifies, inspiring new lockdowns and other measures like the revival of mask orders (in LA, the Department of Public Health just issued a statement asking the public to return to wearing masks indoors when in public) around the world, the emirate of Abu Dhabi has announced that soon people who haven't been vaccinated will be barred from shopping centers, restaurants, colleges, recreational facilities and other places.
The city’s government said the far-reaching measure - which has been approved by the Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee and will take effect on Aug. 20. - will exempt children below the age of 16, and others with an official exemption.
"The committee stated [that] the decision would enhance safety in areas that have been subject to additional precautionary measures and provide enhanced protection for community members," the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said in a statement.
The new measures will begin on Aug. 20, giving the tiny emirate more time to inoculate its citizens. Those who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, and all other retail outlets, including those which are not part of a shopping center, except supermarkets and pharmacies.
They will also be barred from gyms, recreational facilities, health clubs, resorts, museums, cultural centers, theme parks, universities, institutes, public and private schools, and nurseries.
Put another way, if you live in Abu Dhabi, and you ever want to leave your home again, you will need to accept the vaccine. To ensure adequate supplies, the emirate announced last week that it would ban foreigners from being vaccinated in the country (wealthy individuals from around the region have apparently been traveling to the emirate to get the vaccine).
The UAE has the highest vaccination rate in the world, boasting a rate of 154 doses administered per 100 people.
It also has recorded more than 607K coronavirus cases and 1,802 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
More than 2K new cases were reported on Monday, along with six new deaths.