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MoCI issues guidelines for first stage of gradual lifting of restrictions on malls and shopping centres

Jun 13, 2020

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has announced the first stage of the gradual lifting of restrictions on malls and shopping centres. The measure includes operating the mall only up to 30 per cent or the capacity. Banning smoking at the entrance and following other preventive measure issued by various ministries. 
Ministry said in a statement that “In line with the previous decisions and measures adopted by Qatar to preserve the health and safety of citizens and residents, and to limit the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the following has been decided:”

To allow malls and shopping centres to operate during weekdays from 8am to 8pm while remaining closed on Fridays and Saturdays

In line with this decision, the following businesses are allowed to resume their operations:
- Partial opening of some shops in the commercial centres, provided that the outlet's floor space is not less than 300 square metres
- Restaurants that do home delivery or hand over orders at the restaurant (take away), while prohibiting customers from dining in.
- Shops selling sweets, ice cream, cakes, pastries, honey and dates.

While gaming centres, amusement parks, skateboard arenas, prayer rooms and cinemas will remain closed. This decision also prohibits any artistic, cultural or recreational activities at malls and commercial centres.

Precautionary and preventive measures:

Malls and shopping centres shall adhere to the precautionary and preventive measures outlined by the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, and shall comply with the following guidelines:

-    Allowing shoppers onto the premises only after checking the colour code identifying the individual's health condition in the Ehteraz app. Only green code holders are allowed in.
-    Barring people not wearing a medical mask and compelling visitors to wear one throughout their time at the mall.
-    Barring individuals under the age of 12 and aged 60 and above from entering the mall.
-    Measuring the body temperature of workers and visitors at all entrances and preventing those with temperatures above 38° C from entering the mall.
-    Providing hand sanitisers across mall facilities.
-    Educating visitors to maintain a safe distance of no less than two metres from other individuals at all times.
-    Reducing the number of parking spaces available to visitors to 50%.
-    Operating at less than 30% of the mall's regular capacity.
-    Barring smoking at mall entrances and removing all containers designated for cigarette waste (ashtrays).
-    Preventing the gathering of visitors and limousine or taxi drivers at the entrance to malls.
-    Continuously measure the body temperature of the outlet's staff, isolate employees who exhibit symptoms, and inform concerned authorities to take the necessary precautions and health measures in this regard.
-    Abide by the decision to allow employees aged 60 and above, in addition to pregnant women and staff with chronic diseases, to work remotely.
-    Place safe distancing stickers on the store's floor.
-    Allow customers to enter retail outlets only according to the store's capacity. Only one individual is allowed per nine square metres.
-    Encourage customers to pay using credit cards rather than using cash
-    Continuously sterilise all of the outlet's facilities, including administrative offices, warehouses, employee housing, and affiliated transportation facilities.

“This decision goes into effect on Monday, June 15, 2020. The decision may be subject to amendments and updates according to the latest developments in this regard. Any violation of the decision will subject perpetrators to legal accountability and procedures,” ministry added.

The Ministry said that the success of each stage of the comprehensive plan for the gradual lifting of restrictions depends on the adherence of all citizens and residents to the required preventive and precautionary measures.