MoCI Issues Decision on First Stage of Lifting Restrictions on Commercial Complexes
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has issued a decision regarding the first stage of the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed on shopping malls and centers as part of precautionary and protective measures aimed at curbing the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The decision, will come into effect as of Monday, included allowing commercial complexes and centers to operate during the weekdays -except Friday and Saturday- from 8AM to 8PM. It specifies that the commercial activities be allowed to operate in this stage and the conditions that must be met in this context.
According to the decision, partial opening is permitted for some stores in shopping centers (provided that the area of the shop is not less than 300 square meters) and restaurants (for delivery and takeaway only), in addition to shops for sweets, ice cream, donuts, honey and dates.
The decision also stipulated the continued closure of the arcade areas, skiing, prayer rooms and cinemas, in addition to preventing the holding of any artistic, cultural or recreational activities within the complexes and commercial centers.
The Ministry affirmed the necessity for commercial complexes and centers to adhere to the precautionary and preventive measures identified by the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs, which include not allowing entry except after checking the color code of the health condition referred to in the EHTIRAZ application. Only green code holders are allowed entry.
The decision also stipulates that individuals who do not wear medical masks should be prevented from entering and that they are required to keep wearing them as long as they are in the mall. Furthermore individuals under the age of 12 or over 60 years will not be allowed to enter.
The decision also included emphasis on the necessity of checking the temperature of workers and visitors at the entrances and not allowing those whose temperature exceeds 38 degrees to enter the commercial complex; providing hand sterilizers in various facilities; urging visitors to adhere to a safe distance of no less than two meters; allowing entry of not more than 30 percent of the regular capacity of the mall; halving the number of parking spaces; preventing smoking at the entrances with removing all ashtrays and containers designated for cigarette waste; and preventing the congregation of visitors or taxi drivers at the entrances to the complexes.
The MoCI also stressed the importance of constantly checking the temperature of workers in the commercial stores, isolating employees who show symptoms of infection, and informing the relevant authorities to take the necessary precautions and health measures, applying the decision of work remotely on employees who are over the age of 60, pregnant or having chronic diseases.
The Ministry also obliged the commercial complexes and malls to place safe distance stickers on the floors of the shops; receive customers according to the store’s capacity, provided that it is not less than 9 square meters per person; encourage shoppers to pay with cards and avoid the use of banknotes as much as possible; and continuously sterilize all the facilities of the commercial store, including the administrative offices, warehouses, employee housing, and transportation facilities.
The Ministry pointed out that this decision is subject to amendment and updating according to developments in this regard, noting that any violation of the stipulated provisions would subject the perpetrators to legal procedures and accountability.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry emphasized that the success of each stage of the comprehensive plan for the gradual lifting of restrictions depends on the extent of everyones commitment to implementing the required preventive and precautionary measures.