Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Coronavirus: Dubai restaurant shut down after free meal deal attracts crowds

Customers gathered outside the premises disregarded social distancing measures

Dubai authorities are taking action against businesses flouting the rules around social distancing. Reuters
Dubai authorities are taking action against businesses flouting the rules around social distancing. Reuters

A Dubai restaurant has been shut down for breaching Covid-19 safety measures after a free-meal promotion led to a surge in visitors.

The eatery in Satwa - which officials did not name - faced sanctions for breaking social distancing guidelines after crowds gathered in large numbers to take advantage of the offer.

The closure order was imposed by Dubai Economy's Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Sector (CCCP).

"A restaurant in Satwa was ordered closed by CCCP [on Thursday], after their distribution of free meals led to passers-by gathering in front of the store, disregarding physical distancing guidelines and causing congestion," a Dubai Economy statement read.

Authorities are cracking down on premises which fail to abide by Covid-19 regulations.

On Thursday, the authority revealed a department store was closed after holding a flash sale that saw crowds pile into the outlet.

Dubai Economy also fined the business Dh50,000 after video of shoppers spilling out onto the street on Wednesday on was widely circulated.

The agency, which regulates trading standards, said it would not be “lenient in any way” with retailers who flout social distancing measures.

Dubai Economy identified the store as discount chain Day-to-Day, in an image that showed a closure notice stamped on the front entrance.

Government officials stressed that returning to normal trading meant businesses and shoppers must be "cautious, not reckless". Retailers, staff and security guards are responsible for managing shoppers and Covid-19 rules.

Dubai Economy, with the co-operation of Dubai Sports Council, also imposed an unspecified fine on a fitness centre for failing to comply with physical distancing regulations, particularly in the reception area.

A lack of commitment to wearing masks by employees was also cited as cause for the financial penalty.

Dubai Economy teams are carrying out regular checks across the emirate, including at open markets and commercial centres, to ensure safety rules are being followed.

Inspections conducted on Thursday found that 578 stores fully complied with the precautionary measures and guidelines.

Dubai Economy called on consumers to report any non-compliance to the Covid-19 precautionary guidelines via the Dubai Consumer App available on Apple, Google, and Huawei stores, by calling 600545555, or on the Consumerrights.ae website.

Updated: September 11, 2020 03:13 PM

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