COVID-19 | Intensified Restrictions of Movement & Extended Sterilisation Programme

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in coordination with Command and Control Centre for combating COVID -19 has adopted round the clock sterilisation and enforces strict movement within Dubai.

Who is affected?

This is considered a complete “Lock-down of Dubai” except for essential / vital services.

Vital Sectors exempted from restrictions (24 hours a day) include:

  • Healthcare services (Hospitals, clinics and pharmacies)
  • Food supply outlets (Union Cooperative outlets, supermarkets, groceries)
  • Delivery services (Food and medicine)
  • Restaurants (operations limited to home deliveries only)
  • Manufacturers of medicines and providers of healthcare and medical supplies
  • Industrial sector (only vital industries)
  • Industrial supply chain for services and basic commodities
  • Water and electricity sector, petrol and gas stations and district cooling services
  • Telecommunications sector
  • Media sector
  • Airports, airlines, ports, shipping
  • Customs duty and border crossings
  • Public and private security services
  • Municipality services and public and private service providers involved in garbage collection, sewage-management and general cleaning and sanitation
  • Private and government sector organisations involved in combating the coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Public transport (buses and taxis only; metro and tram services are suspended)
  • Construction sector, subject to obtaining a permit from Dubai Municipality and the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs.


The authorities today announced the extension of the sterilisation programme to 24 hours a day across all areas and communities in the emirate to protect the health and safety of the community.

The Committee also announced intensified restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles.

The measures will be effective from 8.00 pm on Saturday, 4th April 2020 for a period of two weeks, subject to renewal.

The intensified measures require everyone to stay at home during this period.

The intensified restrictions and lock-down are subject to Dubai only and are not applicable to the rest of the Emirates.

Individuals will not be allowed to leave the house, except for essential purposes or if they are working in vital sectors exempted from the restrictions. These measures have been put in place to ensure people undertake trips outside the home in a planned and organised manner.

Employees working in  vital sectors are exempted from restrictions and permitted to leave their house at any time of the day to commute to work. Anyone violating the restrictions are subject to strict stringent legal action.

UAE also extended suspension of entry for all valid visa holders including residents who are abroad for additional two weeks (subject to further renewal).

Only Emiratis and holders of diplomatic passport overseas can pass through the country’s borders.

The authorities have clarified that people with a valid UAE residency and currently outside UAE for more than 180 days will be exempted from fines. The authorities further added that any kind of UAE visa or residency will be exempted from penalties for a renewable period of three months.

How Santa Fe can assist?

As authorities have not stipulated any timeline for the measures implemented on travellers, affected travellers should refrain from making travel plans to UAE as much as possible until further advice is received from the relevant government bodies.

For employers, it is advised to keep assignment start dates flexible for affected travellers and also to keep putting immediate business travels to UAE on hold.

Santa Fe can support your business with any immigration compliance and advisory issues concerning your expatriate population. We can review current employees’ visas and assist with necessary advice or solutions to ensure ongoing compliance with the UAE Regulations.

We will also keep your business updated on ongoing developments on all UAE immigration matters and will advise on any changes requiring your attention.

Should you have any questions, please contact the following:

Ayaz Sheriff
Senior Immigration Consultant – UAE
​Santa Fe Relocation
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
D: +97 143 321 595
M: +97 155 367 9870

Paolo Longo
Regional Immigration Director – Middle East & Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
Johannesburg, South Africa
D: +27 (0) 10 595 2337
M: +27 (0) 83 677 7949

To read more immigration updates, click

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