Abu Dhabi restricts many public areas to those free of COVID

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A man receives a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates December 28, 2020. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi/File Photo

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DUBAI, June 10 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi, the second-most populous emirate in the UAE, will restrict access to shopping malls, restaurants, cafes and other public places from June 15 to those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recently tested negative.

The new rules were announced late on Wednesday as the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates, has seen daily cases rise over the past three weeks. The UAE, which does not give a breakdown for each emirate, recorded 2,179 new infections on Wednesday, up from 1,229 on May 17.

The restrictions will also apply to gyms, hotels and their facilities, public parks, beaches, swimming pools, entertainment centres, cinemas, and museums, Abu Dhabi's media office said.

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Visitors will have to prove they have been vaccinated or have recently tested negative through the country's COVID-19 app, which displays an individual's vaccination and testing history.

The mobile app will show green if the person has been vaccinated or has tested negative.

Individuals who have not been vaccinated will need to be tested every three days to maintain their green status. A fully vaccinated person would do so every 30 days.

The UAE announced last month that from June 6, attendance at live events and social activities, including weddings and bars, would be limited to those who could prove they had been vaccinated.

The UAE has one of world's highest inoculation rates with the AstraZeneca (AZN.L), Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N), Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines available to citizens and residents.

In Abu Dhabi, those immunised with the Chinese-made Sinopharm shot are also able to take a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech as a booster.

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Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Stephen Coates

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