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March 30, 2020

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Containing the pandemic - fines introduced to stop violations

Authorised to fine between Dh500 and Dh50,000 according to the nature of offence.

Police officers have been authorised to slap fines listed in the UAE Attorney-General's resolution, which was issued as part of the precautionary measures taken to contain the spread of Covid-19. Violators will be fined between Dh500 and Dh50,000 according to the nature of offences committed.

As per Article 6 of the resolution, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and police departments in the country will be responsible for collecting fines from violators. They will also coordinate with the government departments concerned in case the violator refrains 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.

Emirati lawyer Awatif Mohammed Khouri said updates made on the list of violations and announced Saturday night introduced new violations. "A new violation which will be earning offenders a Dh3,000-fine was added to the list. It's 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 Dh2,000. "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.

Other violations such as failing to comply with home quarantine instructions is subject to a Dh50,000 fine, said legal consultant Mohmmed Mohsin. "It was expanded to also include non-compliance with instructions at the quarantine facilities specified by the authorities as well as the re-examination requested as per health procedures," he said.

Repeating the violations will earn offenders doubled fines but committing the same violation for the 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 and put into effect the same day, is aimed at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all community members.

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