The gradual reopening will come with strict safety precautions…

Following the news that Abu Dhabi’s malls will begin reopening over the coming days and weeks, subject to clearance from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), it looks like hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues could soon follow suit.

Guidelines for a safe, phased reopening of the city’s entertainment spots were set out in a circular issued by the Department of Culture and Tourism -Abu Dhabi (DCT).

Malls, hotels and places of public gathering have been closed in the capital since March due to public health concerns posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The news that customer-facing businesses will be allowed to reopen soon, is in large part the fruit born by the successful implementation of the government’s National Disinfection Campaign.

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Of course the continued safety of staff and the public is of primary concern, so there will be a comprehensive raft of strict measures in place to ensure this is prioritsed.

Hygiene requirements include regulated opening hours (6am to 9pm); regular steilisation of facilities; thermal screening of staff and customers; the enforced wearing of masks; touch screens are to be diabled; and venues should encourage the use of smart payments where possible.

Social distancing measures include a restriction of only four persons per table with a minimum 2.5 m distance between tables; venues must operate at only 30 per cent capacity, enforcing distancing of 2m at all times; no entertainment performances will be allowed; and visit durations must not exceed three hours.

Employees can only return to work following negative Covid-19 tests and will be obliged to wear, regularly changed, masks and gloves.

Once the DCT has established that venues have met the necessary requirements, opening timings can be scheduled.

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