Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, announced Monday that unvaccinated residents will be banned from most public places in an effort to encourage vaccinations.
According to a Twitter announcement from the emirate’s media office, “The decision covers shopping centres, restaurants, cafes, gyms, recreational facilities, sporting activities and all other retail outlets not within shopping centres,” as well as “health clubs, resorts, museums and cultural centres, theme parks, universities and institutes, schools and nurseries.”
The ban doesn’t apply to public places that sell essential goods like grocery stores and pharmacies. It also excludes children under the age of 16 and those who have received a vaccine exemption through the UAE’s approved process and registered on their app.
These restrictions, some of the harshest in the world, will go into effect on August 20, even though 93% of their target groups have been vaccinated. According to a tracker run by The New York Times, the UAE has the highest vaccination rate in the world (154 doses administered per 100 people).