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Revealed: Dubai issues list of guidelines for reopening malls, offices

Revealed: Dubai issues list of guidelines for reopening malls, offices

The official date for reopening businesses is expected to be “announced shortly”

A comprehensive set of guidelines including strict adherence to social distancing and constant sanitisation measures will need to be in place in shopping centres, trading outlets and offices in Dubai before they can reopen, Dubai Economy has revealed.

The official date for reopening businesses is expected to be “announced shortly”, according to a circular issued by the body.

“Once the reopening is announced, businesses can reopen after they have complied with the guidelines and protocols and ready to receive customers/resume operations,” it stated.

Also read: Abu Dhabi considers reopening malls with precautionary measures in place

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE

Shopping malls, high-street stores, souqs and wholesale outlets will be allowed to operate for 10 hours per day upon reopening, although consumer visits will be restricted to three hours.

They will also be allowed only to have 30 per cent of their staff onsite.

In the first stage, family entertainment venues, changing rooms, prayer rooms and cinemas will not be permitted to reopen.

Some of the guidelines for reopening include –

* 24 hour mall sanitisation: Clean all the common areas of the mall premises included toilets cleaned after each use and entrance areas sterilised

* Entrance health checks: Ensure that anyone entering the mall including staff, visitors and contractors undergo mandated temperature screening and checks

* Restricted access: Elderly above 60 years old and children between the ages of 3-12 years are not permitted to enter

* Open all mall entry points: Malls must open all entry points to avoid crowding at entrances since visitors must do health checks which could lead to long queues

* Provision of masks and hand sanitisers: All visitors are mandated to wear masks at all times in the mall from entry. Non compliance will lead to denial to enter mall. Hand sanitisers to be installed

* Mandatory isolation rooms: Have a small dedicated area on site to isolate potential positive cases

* Sanitisation for each item after each trial: No testing will be allowed for personal care items and retailers are not allowed to implement ‘No Return Policy’ for sale of personal items

* Food court and F&B outlets distancing compliance: Ensure F&B outlets can host 30 per cent of the capacity with two metre distance between tables – including the food courts- to enable physical distancing

* Promote smart payments as preferred method

* Prohibit sales and promotional activities: Neither mall management nor retailers are allowed to hold sales and promotions to avoid crowd management within a store

* Suspend valet parking services

Dubai Economy also said that mall management is “encouraged” to make retailers pay rental for the lease areas based on a pro-rata charge for the number of hours the store stays open instead of a full day rental. If retailers have to renew their lease, there should be no increase on rent after renewal, it added.

OFFICES

Offices that reopen will be allowed to stay open for nine hours, with up to 30 per cent of their staff. They have to ensure no high risk individuals are present at work.

Some of the guidelines in place include –

* 24-hour office sanitisation: All the common areas of the building/office premises including toilets have to be cleaned after each use and the entrance areas must be sterilised

* Entrance health checks: Ensure that anyone entering the building/office including staff and visitors undergo temperature screening and checks. Those showing any symptoms are prohibited from coming to work

* Provision of masks and hand sanitisers: All employees and visitors are mandated to wear masks at all times in the building/office. Non-compliance will lead to denial of entry

* Physical distancing of two metres: Ensure the two metre distancing measure is maintained in all common areas, elevators, service desks and customer service. The elevators will only be permitted to operate with up to 30 per cent capacity

* Offices working hours: Building and office hours should not exceed eight hours a day

* Minimise meetings: Ensure that no more than five people are in a meeting following a distance of two metres. No gatherings are permitted

* Pantries have to remain closed

* Suspend valet parking services

Dubai shut down all the malls in March and in early April, asked all offices to switch to remote working as it began a 24-hour sterilisation drive to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Only those in essential sectors are currently permitted to work outside their homes.

Read: Update: Dubai residents can get only one movement permit every three days

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