By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Restaurants and other F&B outlets will have to reduce seating to 30% and maintain seating and tables at least six feet apart
Dubai’s government has told malls to be on standby for a gradual re-opening, with heavy safety measures to be put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and protect staff and customers.
In a document outlining protocols for the first step of a four-stage re-opening of major retail operations, Dubai Economy said that visitors to malls and staff must wear masks at all times, with hand sanitisers installed throughout the premises.
The document gave no date for the re-opening of malls, but it said operators should be on standby for an announcement.
Additionally, all malls must conduct sanitisation 24 hours a day, and implement a screening process that checks the temperature and health of everyone who enters. The malls must also have a mandatory isolation area to isolate potential Covid-19.
Other steps included in the document say people must ensure 2 metres of social distancing, and maintaining occupancy at to 30 percent across all common and gross leasable areas.
Restaurants and other F&B outlets will have to reduce seating to 30 percent and maintain seating and tables at least six feet apart.
Both stores and restaurants must hang a red tag on the door displaying the maximum number of customers to be allowed inside, based on a social distance of four feet.
According to the document, entertainment and tourist attractions – such as the Dubai Fountain – must remain closed for the first stage of the plan.
Visitors to malls will only be allowed to be there for three hours, with the mall itself allowed to operate for 10 hours. Adults over 60 and children between three and 12 will not be allowed to enter.
A similar document with the same steps was issued in Abu Dhabi by the Department of Economic Development.
The Dubai Economy document also outlined initial guidelines for offices. Employees will be required to wear masks at all times, maintain 2 metres distancing and maintain occupancy at 30 percent.
Building and office hours will not exceed 8 hours a day. Meetings will be restricted to 5 people or less, with the 2 metre social distancing guidelines still in place.