Conditions set to reopen commercial firms, malls in Saudi Arabia

Preferred mode of payment is e-payment and not using cash as much as possible

April 26, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MMRA) has set some precautionary conditions for the reopening of commercial firms during the non-curfew period where commercial activities are allowed to function in line with the state regulations.

The conditions stipulate keeping mandatory social distancing between all individuals at all times. No gathering or crowding is allowed, no use of cash (banknotes) is allowed and dealings are restricted to means of electronic payment.

Clothes fitting rooms and prayer rooms will be closed, seats where people were allowed to sit shall be removed, and electronic gates and doors only to be used. In case electronic doors are nonexistent, the doors will remain open throughout the work period, it was reported by Saudi Arabic daily Okaz on Sunday.

The conditions include not allowing return or changing of any goods once sold. The number of customers inside each shop should be kept at the rate of one client per 10 (sq.) meters.

Entry into the shop shall be organized, such that customers will have to wait outside if the density has reached its maximum level, stickers and clear marks should be used on the ground to organize the crowds of clients to the specified density and to ensure compliance with the mandatory social distancing between clients at points for payment and receiving goods, entrances and exits.

Periodic sterilization of shopping trolleys and baskets and covering exposed goods during transportation should be ensured.

The conditions also include placing, publishing and spreading signs and guidance signboards to ensure that all understand the precautionary measures and the imposition of mandatory precautionary health measures on all the employees.

These include wearing masks, washing hands, wearing hand gloves and changing them periodically. It also entails creating full awareness among the workers on the risks of coronavirus and the precautionary measures that ought to be observed at all times.

They also include asking the employee to self-isolate immediately when the COVID-19 virus symptoms appear even if mild, flexibility in granting sick leave so as to enable the employees to self-quarantine when any symptoms appear.

There should be flexibility in changing employees’ shifts to minimize mingling among employees during registration of entry and exit. The health authorities should be notified immediately when any case with the symptoms of coronavirus infection appears.

The ministry has stressed that all places for entertainment and gathering, like games, shows, and prayer rooms should be closed. Seats and places where clients can sit should be removed from the corridors and passages.

The commercial facilities should have units for medical check-up and sterilization so as to measure body temperature at all entrances throughout the working hours.

Anyone with a body temperature exceeding 38 degrees (Celsius) should be barred from entering the facility. Facemasks and gloves in sufficient quantities should be available for visitors at the entrances. Security guards should be available at entrances to ensure visitors use facemasks.

Sterilization of the whole facility is compulsory every 24 hours. There should be isolation rooms available to be used as quarantines if some case is suspected.

The ministry alerts the public that children under 15 will not be allowed into these facilities. The presence of security men should be dense and security rounds should be carried out continuously to ensure full compliance with the precautionary measures.

Valet service (parking vehicles) is forbidden. Guidance and instruction signs should be spread at conspicuous places to make sure that everyone understands the precautionary measures. Lifts should be closed. Stairs should be used. If there is no staircase, only two people will be allowed to use the lift every time.

April 26, 2020
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