ABU DHABI, The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has directed entertainment destinations in the Emirate to temporarily suspend operations as part of the precautionary measures taken nationwide to curb the proliferation of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.

This came in two separate circulars, addressed to the owners of entertainment halls, including movie theatres and videogame centres and lounges, and the second to movie theatres in the UAE capital where the ADDED has asserted that the move is meant to ensure protection of society and its safety in collaboration with other competent authorities in the nation.

"The decision is reflective of the ADDED's determination to safeguard all Emiratis and residents living in the Emirate in line with public safety and protocol measures," said Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of ADDED.

Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, ADDED Undersecretary, said the decision to temporarily close these destinations is aimed to help people steer clear of crowded places.

"Those who will not abide by the decision will be punishable under Article 72 of ADDED's Table of Fines which specifies a pecuniary penalty in the range of AED 3,000-AED10,00 and ultimately closing the facility in case of a repeat infraction," Al Balooshi explained.

Inspection campaigns will be carried out to ensure compliance, he added, highlighting in this respect the recent decisions taken by the Department to ban Shisha across all cafes and restaurants across the emirate in order to curb the outbreak of the novel virus and ensure people's safety and security.

The decision is applicable with immediate effect upon the time of issuance until further notice.

Source: Emirates News Agency