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Dubai issues comprehensive guidelines for opening various sectors amid coronavirus COVID-19 crisis

The government of Dubai, which serves as the business capital of the United Arab Emirates, has issued a comprehensive order and a set of guidelines that need to be put in place before various sectors hit by the coronavirus pandemic are reopened for public. According to the order issued by the Dubai administration, the guidelines call for strict adherence to social distancing and constant sanitisation measures in shopping centres, trading outlets and offices in Dubai once they reopen.
“All businesses must take the necessary measures and precautions to be in compliance with the guidelines & protocols detailed in this document, prior to re-opening and continue to do so on resuming their operations,’’ the order issued by Dubai Economy said.
However, the official date for reopening businesses has not been announced but it is expected soon.
“Once the reopening is announced, businesses can reopen after they have complied with the guidelines and protocols and ready to receive customers/resume operations,” according to a circular issued by the body.
“All businesses must be on standby for official announcements on the date of re-opening and timings (to be announced shortly). Dubai Municipality, Dubai Economy (Corporate Compliance and Consumer Protection Sector) and other relevant government departments will reach out to provide additional guidelines and instructions as and when required,’’ the circular stated.
According to the circular, shopping malls, high-street stores, 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.
Here are some of the guidelines for reopening of various sectors in Dubai –
Wholesale & Retail
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 always mandated to wear masks 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 the 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 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.
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 must remain closed
Suspend valet parking services
All workers to stay inside the site during the working duration, they are not allowed to move out the construction site 
Measure the temperature of the workers as soon as they disembark
All workers to wear personal protective equipment (muzzles, gloves and glasses)
Avoid overcrowding inside the working area, lifts, hoists, offices and rest areas 
Distribution of workers rest times 
Provide full protective set for the storekeeper 
Providing tools and materials sterilization clearance insufficient and various locations on site. 
Delivery of materials
Driver of the delivery truck should not leave driver cabin during offloading without wearing personal protective equipment 
All materials to be offloaded by construction workers
Removal of Waste Material
Provide a sufficient number of waste bins 
The driver of delivery truck should not leave driver cabin during offloading without wearing personal protective equipment
All waste to be loaded by construction workers
Symptoms Found on workers
Authorities to be informed as soon as any of the workers on-site show symptoms•
Isolate suspected workers until authorities arrival
Measure the temperature for all visitors before entering the site
Provide personal protective equipment (muzzles, gloves and glasses)
24-hour Factor Sanitization
Factories need to maintain every 2 -3 hours sanitization in all common areas, lunch rooms-common table surfaces are wiped after each person use
For accommodation camp, sanitization performed by 3rd party regularly to ensure work safety and reduce spread of contamination
Need for Government support to help small to medium factories/companies that need help to afford constant sanitization measures
Entrance health checks
Temperature check done regularly (twice a day) 
Workers and those showing symptoms should not come to work 
Provision of Hand Sanitizers & Masks
Most factories are already practicing using gloves & masks with hand sanitizer set up everywhere
COVID 19 health & prevention staff education
Need to develop in house company videos in all native languages –educate on all steps to take from entry to exit in the factory–provide measures to take even on personal level –keeping away from children until hand hygiene is done and take extra personal hygiene precautions
Social and Cultural Values
No gatherings of over 10 people in private places include no weddings, funerals, etc
Social distancing should be implemented during gatherings of less than 10 people and physical contact such as handshaking, hugging, etc is not allowed
Highly advised that gatherings are few and are restricted to extended family members or very close friends during futoor/suhoor 
Endorse these actions through a strong communication plan and campaigns through the Dubai Media Office and relevant social entities
Donating food
No food should be donated or given directly to any person outside the household, except mass donations under direct supervision of charity and government entities
Donations should be done through authorized charity bodies only3. 
Receiving food
It is not advised to share food within family members living in different houses to minimize transmission risk, however, when receiving food from family or friends the food items should be carefully transferred to home containers
Prayers during Ramadan
Gathering for prayers is not allowed
Group prayers among immediate household members is conditional that they live in the same house. 
Visiting high-risk individuals
Visiting high-risk individuals (such as elderly, individuals with chronic diseases, etc) if not in the same household should be avoided for their own safety and visiting same family members living in different houses is advised to be limited and restricted to the essential and as per need.
Household help
Household help should be instructed not meet with individuals outside the household
Household help should be instructed not to accept food or items from unknown origin
Household help should be given the right protective gear when dealing with individuals outside the household
Household help should be given the right instructions for receiving packages (such as wiping the package or the food container, wearing gloves, etc)
It is advisable to reduce household movement to the minimum and arrange for them to stay in the family house instead of their accommodation in case of taking care of elderly ad infants.
Leaving the house
Leaving the house is advised for necessities only
Family visitation and one outdoor activity can be performed as per the set parameters
When outside the house avoid touching any surfaces and immediately sanitize hands after doing so
Avoid touching face until hands are properly washed with soap and water
Elderly and high-risk individuals with chronic diseases are encouraged to stay home and avoid public places 8. Transportation (public or private)
Mask should be worn when leaving the house
It is advised to have sanitizers readily available and to use frequently in case of movement whether in private or public transportation.  
What to do in case of symptoms presenting themselves
If a family member exhibits symptoms they should immediately self-isolate and contact the DHA hotline
All members of the family should especially the elderly and vulnerable should stay away from a sick individual
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.

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