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Abu Dhabi skyline. Photo: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Officials in Abu Dhabi announced Thursday that the city would reenter a partial lockdown beginning July 19, and reimplement other public health measures, "as part of proactive efforts to prevent COVID-19 variants and to ensure continuous testing."

Why it matters: United Arab Emirates' capital city has been going to great lengths to stem the spread of COVID-19, and Thursday's new guidelines are the latest iteration of these efforts.

The big picture: The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee stated that the partial lockdown would be implemented between midnight and 5 a.m. daily in order to allow for the sterilization of some public spaces.

  • Public transit will be suspended during that time, and the public "must stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out, or to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine," the announcement stated.

Crowd capacity at various public spaces has also been adjusted, the committee announced in a separate press release Thursday.

  • Public spaces such as beaches, parks, restaurants, buses, and gyms will operate at 50% capacity.
  • Shopping malls will operate at 40% capacity and movie theaters at 30%.
  • "A maximum of three passengers may travel in a five-passenger taxi and four passengers in a seven-passenger taxi," per the statement.

The committee also announced new COVID-19 testing requirements for visitors entering Abu Dhabi. Visitors will only be allowed entry after testing negative for the coronavirus and will need to be tested more than once depending on the duration of their stay.

  • These rules will apply to all citizens and residents, vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.