Everyone loves to let their hair down once in a while, especially when the weekend comes around. Though hang-out spots are open and responsible social gatherings are allowed — extreme caution must be taken and all safety rules must be followed. Doctors have urged residents to avoid crowded pubs and bars, as well as large gatherings.
The Dubai Media Office on Thursday issued an advisory that reiterated the precautionary measures for social gatherings and wedding receptions — clearly stating that violators could be fined at least Dh50,000 for hosting large gatherings at home. Attendees will have to pay Dh15,000 each.
No more than 30 people are allowed for get-togethers at home, while a maximum of 200 are permitted for those organised at halls, hotels and tents.
Those thinking of partying at busy pubs and bars should think again, doctors said.
Dr Rohit Kumar, medical director at Medeor Hospital in Dubai, said: “As Covid-19 cases are up, it is not advisable to go to pubs or bars because social distancing may not be maintained in these places.”
“The more you maintain social distancing, the better. The best thing to do is to stay home and stay safe,” he added.
Those who really have to step out must strictly follow safety measures, said Dr Fatemeh Aghanasiri, general practitioner for family medicine at Aster Clinic — Arabian Ranches.
“Stay up to date with developments related to Covid-19. If you have to go, try to sit outdoors instead of indoors. Use a mask all the time, specifically when the place gets crowded. Try to go to less busy and less crowded bars and pubs,” Dr Aghanasiri said.
“Try to do a table reservation before your visit. If waiting areas are not large enough to enable two metres of distancing, wait outside or in vehicles and ask to text or call you when your table is ready. Do not sit on a table with more than four to six people,” she added.
When you’re at a social gathering — even with ‘just family’ — stick to distancing norms.
Dr Kumar said: “The group should not be huge. Also, avoid hugging and kissing. Clean your hands properly to maintain hygiene. In family gatherings, use disposable plates and glasses. Don’t use normal crockery at home.”
The doctor added that it would be best to avoid smoking during this time. “Available evidence suggests that smoking is associated with increased severity of disease and death in hospitalised Covid-19 patients. Although likely related to severity, there is no evidence to quantify the risk to smokers of hospitalisation with Covid-19 or of infection by SARS-CoV-2.”
Hosting a get-together? Be responsible
The Dubai Media Office on Thursday specified the safety rules that must be followed in hosting social gatherings. Violators shall face hefty fines.
> All attendees of home gatherings must maintain the rule of one person per four square metres of venue space.
> Attendees should refrain from all physical contact, including handshakes, hugs and other traditional greetings
> Attendees must wear their face masks at all times. These can be removed only when guests are seated at their table
> Only five guests (maximum) are allowed per table.
> Guests should avoid sitting face-to-face or in close proximity to others. They must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from other attendees at the gathering.
> Tables should be placed at least two metres apart from each other.
> The duration of events at halls, hotels, homes, temporary venues and tents should not exceed four hours.
> Elderly people and those with chronic conditions are advised not to attend social functions.
> Any person experiencing symptoms such as coughing, or fever should avoid attending gatherings.