Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 31 May 2020

Coronavirus: Dubai residents not allowed to walk dogs under new permit scheme, police confirm

Those caught walking pets could receive an on-the-spot penalty or warning from police

Dubai residents are no longer allowed to walk their dogs after restrictions on travel were tightened this week, police said.

Pet owners caught flouting the law by patrolling officers will be warned about their behaviour and could be hit with an on-the-spot fine.

This was confirmed to The National by call centre staff manning the Dubai Police 901 hotline on Tuesday.

On Sunday, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announced that all journeys outside of the home would require official approval.

The dxbpermit.gov.ae website states that permits will be issued only “for emergencies” including essential work duties, medical appointments and shopping for grocery and medical supplies.

Police representatives reiterated that pets were not permitted to accompany owners on visits to supermarkets or pharmacies.

Fine amounts would be issued at the discretion of on-duty police officers.

But in late March, the UAE attorney general announced that a penalty of Dh3,000 would be levied against anyone leaving home for unnecessary reasons.

After the announcement, residents posted queries online asking whether dog walking was permitted during the two-week intensified sterilisation programme in the emirate.

“There is a news article that says dog walking will be permitted. Is this true?,” one Twitter user posted.

“I tried applying [online] but only found the emergency section.”

Another user wrote: "@DubaiPoliceHQ kindly advise [if] we can take the dogs out for a quick walk as they are struggling and we are worried. Thank you.”

In a direct response to both queries, Dubai Police stated it was forbidden.

“Individuals are not allowed to leave the house except for essential purposes or if they are working in vital sectors during the The National Sterilisation Programme. #StayHome.”

The new measures were introduced to ensure people undertake trips outside the home in a planned and organised manner.

Only one member of any household is allowed to go outside for essential journeys, during which they must wear face masks and gloves and keep a safe distance between themselves and other members of the public.

Officials also urged the public not to visit supermarkets and pharmacies daily.

Brig Saif Al Mazroui, head of traffic at Dubai Police, emphasised that residents going out to buy food should plan one big shop to last them several days or more rather than make repeated visits.

“People need to understand that going out must be for only an absolute necessity,” he said. “They should buy what is enough for a number of days.”

As of Tuesday, the tally of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UAE was 2,076. So far, 167 have patients recovered and 11 people have died as a result of Covid-19.

Updated: April 8, 2020 02:16 PM

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