Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates, has announced that a large number of public places will soon only be accessible to people vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to encourage more people to inject.
The Emirati government said Monday that from August 20, authorities will start restricting access to shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, sports activities, museums, gyms, schools and universities. Unvaccinated people are effectively denied access to shops in the city, with the exception of supermarkets and pharmacies.
Abu Dhabi has already put in place a green pass system that restricts public access to those who either received the shot or had a negative virus test. It comes as the country increasingly relies on its quick vaccination campaign to reopen its economy. According to the government, at least 93 percent of Abu Dhabi’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The neighboring travel hub of Dubai, home of the long-haul airline Emirates, has also introduced some vaccination restrictions for mass entertainment and sporting events. However, shopping centers and other stores remain open to the unvaccinated. The United Arab Emirates has one of the fastest vaccination campaigns in the world with 15.1 million doses given to its population of approximately 9 million. The country has relied heavily on the Chinese government-sponsored Sinopharm shot.