Don’t let your guard down as you enjoy the festivities during the long holiday period.
Yet another Eid Al Fitr celebration is upon us – the second one since the pandemic started roiling the world last year.
As UAE citizens and residents prepare to mark this joyous occasion, it is important to remember that Eid this year brings both great hopes and grim reminders.
Reminders – that the festival has come at a difficult time for the region and the entire world, still struggling to emerge out of the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, the UAE with its effective public health and prevention strategies and diligent enforcement of Covid guidelines and vaccinations, has done a stellar job to tame the virus and reopen the economy. But the menace of Covid continues to hit several other countries in the region and beyond. We cannot, therefore, afford to let our guards down and must remain ever vigilant against the virus.
It is for this reason that the authorities have urged residents to be as safe as possible during the celebrations, and to adhere to all Covid-19 preventive measures. We must abide by the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) advisory for residents to celebrate with members of their own households as much as possible, and to avoid large family visits and gatherings or risk paying hefty fines. Similarly, residents must avoid sharing gifts and food during the holidays, and distribute Eidiya as e-greetings and e-gifts instead.
Thanks to the effective management of the pandemic by the authorities, UAE residents today have the privilege of enjoying a whole gamut of entertainment options in person this Eid – from theme parks to cinemas, restaurants and staycations. But it’s critical to continue wearing masks and maintain social distancing at these locations as we visit with family and friends.
With a mix of enterprise and precaution, we can certainly enjoy the Eid holidays this year – and yet fulfil our responsibilities in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
In doing so, there is plenty of hope.
The UAE’s national vaccination programme continues at a furious pace, with more than 70 per cent of the eligible population already vaccinated. Dubai aims to vaccinate 100 per cent of all target groups by the end of the year. And all government employees will mark a 100 per cent return to face-to-face work from next Sunday — yet another milestone as we embrace the new normal.
So, yes, another Eid Al Fitr celebration is upon us.
But this time we have many reasons to be optimistic here in the UAE – and we must therefore continue to strictly adhere to all precautionary measures at all costs and not let our vigil down.