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15 Apr 2020 | 10:19 PM UTC

UAE: Sharjah suspends all inter-city buses April 14 /update 24

Sharjah’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) suspends all inter-city buses amid COVID-19 pandemic on April 14; confirm travel itineraries



The Roads and Transport Authority in Sharjah (RTA) announced on Tuesday, April 14, that all inter-city bus services from Sharjah will be suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Al Jubail bus station will also be closed indefinitely from April 14. On the same day, the Dubai Municipality prohibited the movement of labor workers to areas outside of Dubai to prevent further spread of the virus. A restriction on movement of labor workers leaving and entering Abu Dhabi remains in place.

An indefinite overnight curfew remains in effect across the UAE's six other emirates. All movement between 20:00 and 06:00 (local time) is restricted, and public transportation is suspended during curfew hours. Those who leave their homes outside of curfew hours without legitimate or pre-approved reason will face fines of USD 544 and individuals violating the curfew may be fined up to USD 13,600. Some food distributors may operate for from 08:00 to 20:00 if preventative safety and sanitation risks are adhered to. This includes meat, fruit, vegetable, fish, coffee, and tea shops, among others.

All individuals in Dubai are required to request movement permits online during the lockdown through Saturday, April 18. Those who go out for walks, cycle, or drive during the 24-hour curfew may do so exclusively for essential reasons while wearing masks and gloves, and must respect social distancing advice. Only one family member will be permitted to go out at any one time. Supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as food and drug delivery services, will continue to operate as normal.

Authorities have approved an extension of visas that expired in early March through the end of December 2020 for residents that are both within and outside Emirati borders. The policy also applies to those in the country on tourist visas. The entry of all valid visa holders remains suspended through at least Thursday, April 16, though it will likely be extended. While international flights were suspended on March 23, Etihad and Emirates have begun operating departing flights to multiple international locations.

As of April 16, there are 5365 COVID-19 cases nationwide including 33 deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.