UAE limits family gatherings to not more than 10 people

Any family event in the UAE, including a funeral procession, should not have more than 10 people in attendance, authorities said on Friday.

Announced by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), the rule was part of the new set of safety guidelines on organising any social event in the country.

In a series of tweets NCEMA posted, it clarified that besides the maximum number of 10 people:

  • A family event should be restricted to first-degree relatives.
  • The authority also recommended that all those attending the gathering be tested at least 24 hours before the event.
  • Buffets are strictly prohibited and disposable plates and cups should be used.
  • Surfaces at the gathering venue should be disinfected periodically.
  • Social events will be closely monitored, NCEMA emphasised, and robust action will be taken against violators.
  • Other safety measures appply: Social distancing should be observed at all times, leaving a gap of at least two metres between people, and anyone who presents with COVID symptoms must be warned against attending the event. An isolation room must be arranged, in case a suspected case is detected.
  • The NCEMA also urged people with chronic diseases and the elderly to avoid such gatherings.

Specifically pointing out the safety measures to be followed during funerals, NCEMA said it is compulsory for workers at cemeteries to wear masks and disinfect their tools before and after the burial of the deceased.

It also stressed on washing hands and using disinfectants that contain at least 60 to 80 per cent of alcohol, in the absence of water.

The number of people at any funeral must also not exceed 10 and the people responsible for digging the grave must be limited to two, the authority said. There can be four up to eight pallbearers.


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