Dubai News: The UAE will not impose complete lockdown due to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 or any other variant of the coronavirus, a minister said on Thursday.
“Omicron is way less impactful than Delta. Even during Delta, we hadn’t locked down the country (because) balance has been there (between economy and health sectors). Even with futurist variants when it comes to coronavirus, we will not go back to a full lockdown of the country,” said Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.
The UAE had announced lockdowns and travel restrictions after the pandemic broke out in early 2020. But it was also the first country to reopen by applying strict safety and precautionary measures throughout the country.
The minister said 2021 was critical and encouraging and positive for the economy, and 2022 has also started with a very strong forecast.
“We celebrated our Golden Jubilee in 2021 and welcomed the world to Expo 2020. We showed the world that it can’t continue with the lockdowns. We have to come back to norms ASAP, and balance between health and economy has to be ensured,” Al Zeyoudi told Bloomberg in an interview on Thursday.
He said the communities could come back to norms quickly and cope with global challenges such as the pandemic.
“Thus, we did significant changes in our regulatory system and the way we are running the businesses. During the last few months, we announced 100 per cent foreign ownership, changed the workweek to match with the rest of the world, upgraded the employment laws to create more flexibility and showed our commitments that we are welcoming the world to the UAE,” he said.
The minister said that in 2022, the UAE is standing on a strong foundation it will maintain a balance between economic and health aspects. “We are continuing Covid-19 testing on a daily basis and encourage people to take the vaccine booster.”