Kids below the age of 12, and adults over the age of 60 are restricted from entering malls, cinemas, entertainment venues and restaurants.
Those with serious health conditions are also prohibited from visiting the above as the UAE continues to maintain a number of restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Families affected discussed the limitations, felt keenly by both parents and adults, with many worried of the challenges ahead as we enter summer and permitted activities like walking and cycling will simply not be possible due to the heat.
Lovin Dubai reached out to our audience to see how you’re coping at the moment. Here are some of the responses:
“My mother is 62 years old, she is fit, young and healthy” – Maha suggests 60+mall time slots as a solution
“Morning all, I am quite sad and disappointed with the guidance given to us on restrictions imposed on people in the UAE who are over 60 years of age. My mother is 62 years old, she is fit, young and healthy and under the new guidelines, I cannot take her anywhere. Our hotel gym doesn’t allow for her to exercise, she cannot get to Dubai Mall or Waitrose supermarket and eat out at any restaurant. It is unfair to keep our elderly mothers and fathers locked in the house when they are healthy, fit and super active in their general day to day lifestyle. We must have a solution for our respected parents. I urge the UAE government to remove these restrictions but with some level of cautious and safety. We love Dubai and we respect our elderly citizens… I hope the government can give our parents some flexibility for movement- for example a time slots in malls for elderly etc” – Maha Jabbour, Dubai resident
One concerned mother said the restrictions have caused her 9-year-old son to have anger issues
“My oldest son has been diagnosed with ADHD when he was 4 years old. Being a mother of a child like that requires physical activities every day to keep himself calm and focused. It has been 2.5 months since the lockdown started and my kids only get to go out once a week and stay in the car at all times. Being an adult I understand the restrictions are necessary for us but a 9 year old cannot comprehend. He knows the virus and what it can do but not being able to do physical activity has really taken a toll on his personality.
Having E-learning online and increased TV time has resulted in him having anger issues. He starts crying over small things because he is not able to express his frustration. I am getting really concerned and searching for places where he can get out of the car and have some physical activities.” Ayesha Zaheer, Instagram
Ayesha’s son is in grade 4 and his mom wants to share the story to bring awareness for mothers in similar situations
Rising temperatures mean outdoor walks will soon no longer be possible
When asked who has been affected most, Niamh via Instagram replied,
“My dad, he is the only one working yet he can’t go into a grocery store. He’s not complaining, lol.”
Others in similar situations responded:
“My mom is. She is eager to visit a mall for shopping, but she’s been sitting at home.” Via Instagram
“Stuck home with a one-year-old and a four-year-old.’ Via Instagram
“Massively with 2 kids aged 6 and 3 we are be defaul still in quarantine.”
One Lovin Dubai reader stated parents are most affected as they are also restricted:
“We can’t go out because of our girls, and now it’s too hot.” Via Instagram
Many are concerned for kids, who have not been to school or had interaction with others their own age for months
“My daughter is 5 but quite sensible for her age. It was indeed a great bonding time, learning about gardening, cooking and other life skills. But yes, she missed her friends, not going to the park and nowadjusting to a virtual world”. Via Instagram
One father asks when lockdown will be reduced for children, “my son who is 10 years old, is starting to suffer from stress and general mental health problems. When will the authorities include younger children in their relaxation of the lockdown?” Via Facebook
Restrictions are in place to stop the spread of COVID-19
At the Wednesday media briefing, Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, a representative for the UAE government, stressed that resuming economic activity is important to the country’s continued development, and to support the national economy. And asked about the return of normal life she said that initiatives like the National Disinfection Programme, conducting more tests and screening options and a health system that works round the clock to maintain public health and safety means the country can gradually return to normal.
This does NOT mean that precautionary measures will be lifted. And all citizens are urged to follow precautionary advice. It is not clear when age restrictions will be eased for kids and 60+ adults.
The UAE Has Set Up A Free Hotline For Mental Health
The UAE’s National Programme For Happiness And Wellbeing has launched a hotline to support individuals mental health and well being during COVID-19.
The service is manned by volunteers and mental health experts to provide support to the community. It’s called ‘Mental Support Line’ is toll-free to call, it’s available in Arabic and English and you can either call or WhatsApp the numbers. And you can get in touch at 800-4673 (hope)