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Dubai reopens public parks, hotel beaches

Mosques, movie theaters, nightclubs and public beaches remain closed.
People are seen on Jumeirah Beach residence, following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Christopher Pike - RC24NF9KLRML

Dubai allowed parks and hotel beaches to reopen today in a further easing of coronavirus-related restrictions.

Public parks can now open and hotel guests can access private beaches, Reuters reported today.

Dubai instituted one of the strictest lockdowns in the region in March, requiring citizens to obtain police permission to leave the house at any time. In late April, Dubai relaxed the lockdown to only from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Malls and businesses reopened, but some residents told Al-Monitor they are still afraid to go out because of the virus.

People can now enter public parks in groups of five. Hotel beaches must maintain physical distancing and tram and ferry services resumed. Mosques, movie theaters, public beaches and nightclubs remain closed, Reuters reported.

Many countries in the region have started relaxing their health restrictions, such as Jordan and Syria. However, others are now reversing course — fearing a second wave of infections. Saudi Arabia announced this week a 24-hour, five-day lockdown for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday. Lebanon also returned to a “complete closure” today.

The entire United Arab Emirates had registered 20,386 COVID-19 cases as of May 13.

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