United Arab Emirates authorities continue their efforts to stem the spread of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The UAE Government takes seriously the health of its citizens and workers and has introduced a series of measures and best practices since the beginning of COVID-19 outbreak. From 24 March 2020 until further notice, the National Media Council, the governmental body regulating the media sector in the UAE and providing support to the authorities, has decided to temporarily stop the distribution of all newspapers, magazines and marketing materials, except for regular subscribers to publications and large stores in shopping centers, provided that they comply with all preventive measures and hygiene rules to guarantee the public health.
In particular, the National Media Council has agreed to temporarily ban the distribution of printed materials, including advertisements, in residential complexes, restaurants, hotels, health centers and clinics, waiting rooms in public and private sector service centers and others places where these materials can be used by multiple people. The Council explained that this ban does not apply to awareness publications flyers approved by the UAE health authorities. The choice is in line with the precautionary measures taken by the country to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, which may be transmitted through the daily circulation of paper publications, and with the aim of preventing the transmission of infection by handled a large group of people with newspapers and publications. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 as many other viruses can resist on the surface of the objects for several hours.
The National Media Council has also encouraged UAE citizens to benefit of digital media to stay informed, stressing that the country's newspapers with their advanced multimedia infrastructure will continue to play their key part in publishing news and conducting debates on issues of national importance through their multimedia platforms. The Council confirmed the crucial role played by the media to continue a correct information and entertainment, raising awareness among the population about preventive measures and best practices against Coronavirus. In accordance with the preventative measures taken by all Authorities and Foundations in the country to maintain public health, the National Media Council also called upon its customers to use the smart services portal, in order to maintain the health and safety of everyone.