The goal is to provide safer and easier access to food supplies…

Yesterday the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) announced that it was launching a range of services to give citizens and residents greater access to essential supplies.

The DED drafted the plan with support from the Department of Municipalities and Transport, the Integrated Transport Centre and food and beverage company Agitha.

One of the proposed initiatives involves converting community spaces into temporary stores for selling food and other goods.

A commitment was also made to provide more home delivery options. And, via Agatha, mobile apps for ordering groceries and animal food supplies.

Today Abu Dhabi Government Media Office broke the news that the DED and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) would be instructing cooperative societies, grocery stores, supermarkets and pharmacies to open until at least midnight.

With permission to open for a full 24 hours if they choose to.

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The extended opening hours are designed to ensure everyone can access the supplies they need, while ensuring stores only operate at 30 per cent capacity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The opening of new channels for remote shopping means those less mobile members of our society can still get the essentials they need, and the rest of us can practice effective social distancing.

Longer opening hours, and the arrival of new pop-up stores will help prevent overcrowding in food retail outlets, reducing the risk of transmission.

Images: Unsplash