Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi businesses to reopen, employees to resume workplace attendance

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Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (DED) issued on Thursday new coronavirus-related guidelines to allow businesses to re-open and employees to resume workplace attendance.

The guidelines state that “low risk individuals” are eligible to be in the workplace, but those who can effectively do their jobs remotely should continue to work from home.

The criteria for low risk individuals eligible to be in the workplace: Aged 18 – 55, live alone or with low risk individuals, and not suffering from any chronic diseases.

People above the age of 55, pregnant women, and those living with anyone suffering from chronic diseases or living with anyone above the age of 60 are not eligible to return to the workplace.

The DED said that employers are required to accommodate their staff’s needs, including allowing parents who choose to work from home while schools are closed to do so and not pressuring or penalizing those who are not eligible to return to work.

The guidelines include measures to be implemented in each workplace, in addition to sector-based measures for construction, manufacturing and utilities, financial services, retail and wholesale, transportation, and restaurants and hospitality.

All businesses must implement social distancing, sanitization of work and communal spaces, and capping attendance capacity at 30 percent (except for construction, manufacturing and utilities sectors).

Measures for the wholesale and retail sector:

Thermal cameras must be installed at mall entrances and other large retail spaces.

Anyone with a fever or noticeable symptoms must be reported immediately to the Department of Health.

Staff members must wear face masks and gloves at all times.

Customers must wear face masks and be encouraged to wear gloves as well.

All displays must be protected behind plastic shielding, physical barriers, or removed entirely.

Stores should set maximum capacity limits and allow five square meters per person.

Signs must be put up to help maintain 2-meter distancing between people.

All social areas must be closed.

No physical contact should take place between staff members and customers.

Hand-washing or sanitization must be done at entry points.

Entry and exit points must be separated to ensure unidirectional flow

Malls must install disinfection gateways at entry and exit points, where customers and staff members will be required to sanitize.

Car parkings in malls must be limited to 50 percent capacity.

Mall staff members must be tested and cleared before returning to work.

Payments must be contactless (i.e. no cash, only cards).

Staff should be separated from customers by a plastic shield whenever possible.

Use of surfaces which are touched often to be reduced or eliminated wherever possible.

A man walks in Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (File photo: Reuters)

A man walks in Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (File photo: Reuters)

 

Measures for the construction, manufacturing, utilities sectors:

Temperature checks on entry to site.

Anyone with a fever or noticeable symptoms must be reported immediately to the Department of Health.

Face masks to be worn at all times.

Disposable gloves should be provided in communal workspaces, and workers should be encouraged to wear them.

Leaving the site during breaks is forbidden.

Transportation buses can only operate at a maximum capacity of 50 percent.

Hand-washing or sanitization must be done at entry points.

Daily disinfection of surfaces which are touched often.

Social distancing must be enforced in common areas during breaks.

Drivers must not leave cabins of trucks during their visits, even for loading or unloading.

People must practice social distancing whenever possible, with a two-meter separation.

Equipment should be shared as little as possible.

Employees must be advised to work on tasks individually whenever possible.

Staggering breaks, arrival and departure times (i.e. people spend the same set of hours at work but at different times during the day, for example: some shifts may be 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. others 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

Measures for the transport sector:

Thermal cameras must be installed at key transportation hubs.

Anyone with a fever or noticeable symptoms must be reported immediately to the Department of Health.

Face masks and gloves must be worn at all times.

All transportation methods must limit their capacity at a maximum of 50 percent.

No standing allowed and adjacent seats must remain empty at all times.

Buses must operate at a maximum capacity of 50 percent.

Hand-washing or sanitization must be available to passengers and workers at key transportation hubs.

Sanitization facilities must be made available inside all forms of transport.

All vehicles must be thoroughly sanitized every two hours, including surfaces which are touched often.

Drivers should be shielded with a plastic layer from passengers in all modes of transport.

Transportation services should be increased on key routes.

A maximum of two passengers are allowed per taxi and no one is allowed to sit in the front passenger seat.

Passengers must practice social distancing whenever possible.

Natural ventilation should be enabled wherever possible.

Measures for the financial services sector:

Temperature checks on entry to offices with more than 30 employees.

Anyone with a fever or noticeable symptoms must be reported immediately to the Department of Health.

Face masks must be worn at all times.

Disposable gloves should be provided in communal workspaces, and people should be encouraged to wear them.

Hand-washing or sanitization must be done at entry points.

Natural ventilation should be enabled wherever possible.

People who can carry out their jobs effectively from home should work remotely.

Disinfection of desks, meeting tables, and surfaces which are touched often, must be carried out twice a day.

Social areas and canteens must remain closed.

Equipment should be assigned per employee and thoroughly disinfected if it must be shared.

People must practice social distancing whenever possible, with a two-meter separation.

Staggered shifts for those in the office i.e. people spend the same set of hours at work but at different times during the day, for example: some shifts may be 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. others 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

 

Measures for the hospitality and restaurants sector:

Thermal cameras installed at the entrance to any facility with more than 30 people.

Anyone with a fever or noticeable symptoms must be reported immediately to the Department of Health.

Staff members must wear face masks and globes at all times.

Customers must wear face masks and be encouraged to wear gloves as well.

Facilities should set maximum capacities and not allow groups of more than four people.

Signs must be put up to help maintain 2-meter distancing between people.

Buffets, open food displays, food samples, shared canapes and shisha are not allowed.

No physical contact should take place between staff members and customers.

Hand-washing or sanitization must be done at entry points.

Hotels must install disinfection gateways at entry and exit points.

Restaurants must only use disposable cutlery, napkins and menus, as well as ensuring hand sanitizer is available on all tables.

Surfaces which are touched often must be thoroughly sanitized at least every two hours, and all other surfaces every 24 hours.

Tables must be at least 2.5 meters apart, with groups of no more than four customers per table.

Restaurants must not allow entry of children between the ages of 3-12 and customers above the age of 60.

Payments must be contactless (i.e. no cash, only cards).

Staff should be separated from customers by a plastic shield whenever possible.

Natural ventilation should be prioritized wherever possible.

Use of surfaces which are touched often to be reduced wherever possible.

 

 

Al Arabiya English

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