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Emirate of Ajman will penalize workers for being exposed to COVID-19 twice

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The emirate of Ajman is warning its government employees that they will be penalized for coming into contact for a second time with anyone who has contracted COVID-19, state-linked media in the United Arab Emirates reported Thursday.

Local media outlets said federal employees in Ajman will not receive paid sick leave for quarantine if they come into close contact with infected people outside the workplace or home for a second time.

The UAE has a vaccination rate of 99% among eligible residents and a total death toll of under 2,200 from the virus, but the spread of the omicron variant globally has pushed the number of daily infections up. The United Arab Emirates, home to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has seen daily cases jump from around 50 a day in early December to more than 2,600 a day this week.

To limit the spread of the virus, Ajman’s human resources department issued a circular with a list of no-nos that would lead to salary deductions, ranging from a one-day pay cut to a 10-day pay cut for repeat offenders.

The Al Remeila Mosque is one of Ajman’s most famous buildings on the Persian Gulf.
Jürgen Schwenkenbecher/ AP

The UAE-based The National newspaper said the offenses listed include failure to wear masks, being in crowded areas, shaking hands with others and going to the office after being in contact with someone who’s contracted the coronavirus. Supervisors will also be slapped with salary deductions if they fail to ensure employees comply.

According to the report, a federal employee in Ajman who’s come into close contact with an infected person must isolate for a week or work remotely. Moreover, employees who come into contact with an infected person for a second time will also have to use their personal days off toward mandatory quarantine or take the days off unpaid.

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