Combating coronavirus: Sharjah commercial outlets to reopen on May 3

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Owners and managers of the facilities have been implored to take all preventive steps to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

In accordance with the higher directives in the emirate of Sharjah, the Sharjah of Economic Development Department on Friday announced the reopening of malls, ladies’ and gents’ hairdressing salons, restaurants and cafeterias from Sunday (May 3).

The reopening is part of restriction-easing plans to open the economy based on implementing all precautionary measures and preventive procedures to protect public health.

The reopening of all commercial and services-provider establishments is in accordance to strict conditions and safety guidelines, which include: maintaining the occupancy ceiling of 30 per cent capacity; installing instruction and information signboards in the entrance of the premises to notify the shoppers of the number of visitors allowed; and the rules of social spacing that guarantee a distance of at least two metres between individuals.

A SEDD official confirmed that the body has sent circulars to all the establishments to notify them of the measures and conditions that are must be observed to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The trade control and protection teams of the department, in cooperation and coordination with Sharjah Municipality teams, will ensure that these conditions are adhered to.

The official added that the conditions include the opening of all entrances and doors of the malls and commercial centres to avoid congestion.

Shoppers over the age of 60 will not be allowed to enter the commercial centres.

Parking spaces of the malls should not exceed more than 30 per cent of the total car park size and that valet-parking and car-washing services must be suspended.

The official added that among the most important measures are sterilisation of centres for 24 hours a day, obligating shoppers to wear face masks and gloves, and organising awareness campaigns for employees about prevention of and protection from Covid-19.

Working hours in commercial centres will be from midday until 9pm, except food stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets and pharmacies that can open 24 hours a day.

The official said the lockdown-easing plan includes an order that shopping centres should install heat detectors and sterilisers at the entrances of the facilities and customer-service points, and immediately report any suspected cases of Covid-19 to the competent authorities.

The plan also includes the need to ensure the presence of cleaners in all commercial centres to implement sterilisation operations and continuous disinfection of all sites within the centres, including toilets, elevators, stairs and floors.

Outlets must allow the use of electronic doors that ensure a reduction in the use of hands when entering commercial centres and stores.

The official said that in the case of eating inside, restaurants, seats and tables must be organised to occupy 30 per cent of the space and maintain not less than two metres between people dining inside the facility.

The number of diners must not exceed four people at the same table.

The official stressed that mall managers must ensures owners of shops sterilise their stores on an ongoing basis and obligate all their employees to wear masks and gloves and replace them constantly, and also encourage dealers to pay by electronic means while adhering to social distancing.

The reopening of ladies’ and gents’ hairdressing salons must be based on applying restrictions and measures that were previously set up by the municipality to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, such as using masks and gloves and following the method of reserving appointments to request service.

The official stressed that starting Sunday, the SEDD and Sharjah Municipality will carry out intensified inspections targeting such establishments to ensure their adherence to the rules and guidelines that are aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19.

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