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March 29, 2020

Stopping the COVID-19 spread - what new fines mean for UAE residents

Violators will be responsible for all costs paid on damages that have resulted from their violations.

Police officers across the country have been authorised to collect the fines listed in the UAE Attorney General's resolution, which was issued recently as part of the precautionary measures, taken to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

"As per article six of the resolution, the Ministry of Interior and Police Departments in the country, each according to its jurisdiction, will be responsible for collecting fines from violators and for coordinating with the concerned government departments in case the violator refrained from settling the fine amount," explained Legal Consultant Dr. Hassan Elhais from Al Rowaad Advocates.

He added that according to the resolution's second article, violators will be responsible for all costs paid on damages that have resulted from their violations.

As per the list of sanctions, violators will be fined between Dh500 and Dh50,000 according to the nature of offences committed.

Emirati lawyer Awatif Mohammed Khouri said updates made on the list of violations and announced Saturday, March 28, night introduced new violations. She noted that a new violation which will be earning offenders a Dh3000-fine was added to the list.

"Its the violation of leaving temporary or permanent residence during restriction times announced by authorities for unnecessary reasons except for work or buying grocery and medicine necessities," she said.

Awatif explained that this is a different violation from the previously announced one about people leaving their homes for unnecessary reasons, the fine against which is Dh2000.

"One of the changes made to the list further explained that failing to wear medical masks in enclosed spaces is restricted to people with chronic diseases and to those suffering from cold or flu symptoms," said Awatif.

Some violations were expanded such as failing to comply with home quarantine instructions which is subject to a Dh50,000 fine, said legal consultant Mohammed Mohsin.

"It was expanded to also include non-compliance with instructions of quarantine at the quarantine facilities specified by competent authorities, and with the re-examination requested as per health procedures," he said.

Repeating the violations will earn offenders double the fines but committing the same violation for a third time will see offenders referred to the Emergency and Crisis Prosecution Department at the Federal Public Prosecution.

The resolution, issued by Dr Hamad Al Shamsi on March 26, 2020 and put into effect the same day, is aimed at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all community members.

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