Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: masks and gloves compulsory as hotel facilities in Abu Dhabi prepare to reopen

Establishments must comply with strict guidelines before welcoming customers

Paul Cafe workers at Yas Mall are back at work and now hotel restaurants are to follow suit. Victor Besa / The National
Paul Cafe workers at Yas Mall are back at work and now hotel restaurants are to follow suit. Victor Besa / The National

Masks and gloves will be compulsory for staff and guests under plans to reopen hotel facilities in Abu Dhabi.

The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi has set out an extensive list of rules hotel restaurants, lounges, bars, beaches, pools and gyms must meet before they can resume operations.

The UAE shut down cafes, bars, restaurants and closed off many public spaces in March as the scale of the coronavirus outbreak emerged.

But the country has gradually started reopening establishments in recent weeks, provided they comply with strict social distancing and other rules designed to restrict the spread of the virus.

The safety measures include limiting the number of people in restaurants to 30 per cent of total capacity, with no more than four people allowed at each table and restricting opening hours of outlets to 6am to 7pm.

Hotels must also have in place an isolation room for suspected coronavirus cases and a medical team on standby throughout operating hours.

Both staff and customers must wear gloves and masks, while tables must be spaced 2.5m apart, with clear social distancing markers of 2m displayed on the floor.

Tables and chairs must be sterilised frequently, and hand sanitiser must be made available at the entrance.

Establishments must also install thermal cameras and sterilising equipment, and suspend valet parking.

Separate entrances and exits must be introduced and electronic payment offered.

All staff will undergo Covid-19 testing twice a week, and have their temperatures checked several times during working hours.

“As per our mandate to support and guide the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi in all aspects, the set of measures we have shared with our hotel partners will ensure that not only will they be able to resume trading at the earliest opportunity, but that when they do they will be following guidelines which will keep all members of the community safe and secure,” said Ali Al Shaiba, executive director of tourism and marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“The guidelines set out stringent criteria for the hotels to follow, which our inspectors will confirm with on-site visits. Once these high standards of health and safety are met, DCT Abu Dhabi will approve the reopening, and trading can resume.

"We are adamant that both hotel staff and visitors should be 100 per cent confident in their own safety, as we start the resumption of ‘normal’ activities since the pandemic situation arose.”

Mr Al Shaiba told The National last week that Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector is poised for a gradual re-opening.

He said DCT Abu Dhabi was working to support hotels and resorts through a very difficult period as well as helping them prepare to re-open once the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority gives the green light.

Last week, Dubai Police sent a notice to the emirate’s licensed restaurants notifying them they could serve alcohol from Sunday, the first day of Eid.

Drinks must be served directly to tables and patrons cannot stand at bars, even if they are part of the restaurant.

Alcohol can be served only when food is ordered and all drinks must be served in disposable plastic cups.

Updated: May 24, 2020 04:11 PM

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