All shopping mall operators and retailers are to abide by these requirements…

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has issued a circular to the owners and managers of shopping centres in Abu Dhabi containing strict guidelines that need to be adhered to before they will be allowed to open.

Malls in the capital and around the UAE have been shut since March 25, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with only supermarkets, pharmacies and medical centres receiving government permission to stay open.

At the moment, an actual date for the reopening of malls has not been set. However, they will only be allowed to open their doors to the public once they have adhered to a list of requirements laid out by the Abu Dhabi government.

Here’s what we know.

Working hours will be strictly from noon to 9pm. Only supermarkets, pharmacies and foreign exchange houses will be open from 9am until midnight.

Until further notice, cinemas, gyms and entertainment venues will remain shut and any common spaces, seating areas and prayer rooms will be suspended.

Mall capacity should not exceed 30 per cent and entry will be denied for those above the age of 60.

Visitors and staff are required to wear gloves and masks at all time. They will be denied entry if they have a temperature of over 38 degrees celsius and all staff members will have to be tested for Covid-19 prior to opening.

Paramedics are to be made available throughout the mall during working hours.

Any trial or testing of any clothes or products should be restricted and the store’s capacity should not exceed one customer per five square metres.

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Restaurants, as well, will be required to operate at 30 per cent capacity with a maximum of four people per table and a minimum of 2.5 metres distance between tables. They will only be permitted to use disposable utensils.

Touchscreens will be disabled, lifts restricted to people of determination and escalators will also have markings to ensure social distancing. Cashless transactions are encouraged.

Parking lots will be made limited as well by 50 per cent.

In addition to this, daily and regular sanitization will take place.

The notice ends stating that all shopping mall operators and retailers must abide by these requirements and that these measures will remain valid until a further circular will be issued.

Images: provided