WATCH: Partial opening of shops in malls on June 15 subject to strict rules
As Qatar gears up to begin easing restrictions under a four-phased plan, shops at malls across the country will be partially opened on June 15 under strict rules to ensure the safety of all.
According to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), children aged below 12 years and individuals above 60 will not be permitted to enter malls and commercial complexes during the initial stages of the plan.
The shops will also remain closed on Fridays and Saturdays, the official confirmed.
Speaking at a press conference organized by the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management earlier this week, the Assistant Undersecretary for Commerce Affairs at MOCI, Saleh Majid Al Khulaifi highlighted the process of the reopening of malls and commercial complexes.
Only stores with a minimum area of 300 square meters will be opened during Phase 1. The number of shoppers inside a complex will be restricted to 30 percent of its capacity.
Phase 2 and 3 will see some more relaxations while the complete opening of malls, souqs, and wholesale markets will be allowed in the final phase (phase 4) to begin on September 1.
As the first phase begins on June 15, stores, commercial complexes, and shoppers will all be required to abide by certain measures to safeguard the health of the community.
"With the process of gradually lifting the restrictions, we have contacted the owners of the commercial complexes to discuss the best ways to strike a balance between community health, shoppers' health and the return of the economic cycle to these complexes," said Al Khulaifi said.
“An area of 300sqm has been set as the minimum size for stores that will be allowed to open their doors to ensure that they are large, usually multidisciplinary, and serving a large segment of consumers," he explained.
The focus will be on avoiding crowding and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
The MOCI official further mentioned that places that are likely to draw big crowds such as food courts, games arenas, cinemas, will remain closed during the initial stages.
While the complexes will follow disinfection and sterilization procedures, it will be mandatory for shoppers and workers to wear masks and their body temperature will be measured (which should not be more than 37.8 C).
The Ministry would not tolerate any violation of the outlined procedures at any complex, even if it is committed by one store.
Commercial store owners should bear in mind that health is the first priority while also considering the importance of resuming economic activities.
Al Khulaifi acknowledged the efforts of the private sector, particularly retail stores, for stepping up to meet the challenges that emerged from the COVID-19 situation by using technology to continue to offer services to the public.
For any queries, or concerns related to COVID-19 in Qatar, the public can contact a 24/7 hotline set up by the Ministry. The hotline number is 16000 and is toll-free.
Here's everything you need to know about the virus, including ways to protect yourself.
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Cover Image: for illustrative purposes only
Source: Gulf Times
That's great news. Hopefully everyone will follow the instructions so we can get out of this situation, otherwise the phases will be pushed back and we'll still be sitting at home until December.
@rohit1811 - I think there was a typo in the article, which has been fixed now.
(which should not be less than 37.8 C).
I think it should be (which should be less than 37.8 C).