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Gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed during Ramadan according to new Dubai government guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Protocols issued on Wednesday and seen by Gulf News require social distancing to be implemented in private gatherings of less than 10, with handshakes and hugs not allowed in order to limit transmission of COVID-19.

Suhoor and iftar gatherings should be restricted to extended family or very close friends during the fasting month, the guidance, issued by the Government of Dubai and Dubai Economy, says.

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Food donations should only be made through authorized charities and government entities.

Sharing food with family members who live in different houses is not advised ‘to minimize transmission risk’. If food is received form family or friends, it should be ‘carefully transferred to home containers’, the guidance says.

Gathering for prayers is not allowed during Ramadan. Group prayers must only take place among members of the same household.

Visiting elderly and other high-risk people who do not live in the same house ‘should be avoided for their own safety’, according to the protocols.

Visiting family members in different houses should be limited only in essential circumstances.

Household helpers should be instructed not to meet people outside the house, nor accept food or other items from an unknown origin, the guidance says.

They should be given the right protective gear when dealing with people outside the house, and follow guidance when receiving packages, such as wearing gloves and wiping down containers.

Where possible, helpers should stay in the family house, especially when caring for elderly family members or children.

People should only leave their homes for necessities. When outside, people should avoid touching surfaces and avoid touching their face until hands are sanitized or washed with soap and water.

Masks should be worn when leaving the house, the guidance states, and hand sanitizers should be kept readily available.

Anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms should immediately self-isolate and contact the Dubai Health Authority hotline.