As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise at rapid rates, commercial establishments in Dubai have been ordered to shut their doors for two weeks as part of the precautionary measures to slow the spread of infections.
The Dubai Economy, which issued the directive on Wednesday, said the businesses have to remain closed from today, March 25 until April 8, 2020. They are also encouraged to sell online or use e-commerce platforms to reach their customers.
The UAE had earlier ordered the closure of malls in the country, except supermarkets, cooperative societies, grocery stores and pharmacies, which have the option to remain open for 24 hours. Some supermarkets in the country, as well as the Dubai Metro, have started implementing social distancing measures.
The Dubai Economy’s directive applies to all commercial outlets in and outside the malls, except bakeries, car workshops, laundry shops, technical and electrical services providers, food delivery, transport services provider, and restaurants and cafes inside hotels and hotel apartments.
The closure order also covers fish, meat and vegetable markets - excluding wholesalers supplying to supermarkets - shisha cafes, gyms, fitness centres, theme parks, amusement centre, electronic games (e-games) outlets, cinemas, beauty salons, massage parlors, spas and spring camps.
The Dubai Economy clarified that restaurants can offer takeaway and delivery services, however, those that are located inside the shopping malls can do so subject to the approval of the mall management.
Banks and exchange houses, as well as clinics, will also remain open, provided they comply with the sanitization and social distancing guidelines.
As for the supermarkets, cooperative societies, grocery stores and pharmacies, the Dubai Economy said the number of shoppers allowed at any time must not exceed 30 percent of capacity and customers should maintain a social distance of two metres.
The UAE reported on Tuesday 50 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected people in the country to 248. Globally, the number of infections has reached more than 400,000.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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