Mechanism to prevent Saudi customers from crowding in restaurants and cafes set

No more than one group can share one table, waiting inside restaurants prevented

Saudi men and women sit at a cafe in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, December 9, 2019.

Saudi men and women sit at a cafe in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, December 9, 2019.

REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed

RIYADH — The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing has revealed social distancing protocols in restaurants and cafes, stressing the need to implement social distancing at places where orders are received and waiting customers ought to be 1.5 meters apart.

The ministry also stressed that members of a single family should be treated as one individual and there is no need for spacing between them.

The ministry announced the setting up of a mechanism for managing waiting lists to prevent crowding of customers at the entrances to restaurants or cafes, through prior booking via electronic or mobile phone applications.

The ministry called for preventing individuals from waiting inside restaurants, whether to collect orders or get a vacant table to dine, to prevent crowding and jostling at the entrances and exits, and to forbid providing food inside the restaurant in the event that the mandatory 3-meter spacing cannot be implemented.

The ministry stressed that no more than one group can share one table, and the number of individuals should not exceed five at a single table, even if they are from one family or are all friends.

The ministry called for installing and operating CCTV surveillance cameras and ensuring that all areas in restaurants and cafes are covered, measuring customers’ body temperature before allowing them into the restaurant or cafe, and barring customers having a high temperature or respiratory symptoms from entering the restaurant or café.

If any person, whose function is to provide food and beverage services, has symptoms similar to those of influenza, he should not be allowed to work or enter the facility until the symptoms disappear, according to a report from the treating physician.

The body temperature and contact information should be registered and saved in a special record, the ministry said.

The ministry has stressed that it is mandatory for customers to have the Tawakkalna application before entering restaurants and cafes.

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