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Operating guidelines for businesses following the easing and lifting of COVID-19 lockdowns

Afridi & Angell Legal Alert

By Charles Laubach


On 22 April 2020 the Government of Dubai and Dubai Economy issued guidelines for businesses and commercial centres for reopening and resuming activities following the 24-hour Stay Home and National Disinfection Programme initiatives. The guidelines are included in a document entitled ‘Guidelines & Protocols for Reopening’. Similar guidelines have been issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development concerning malls in the UAE capital.


Reopening is expected to be implemented in a phased approach. Date and time of reopening have not been announced yet. Once announced, businesses and commercial centres can reopen after they have complied with the guidelines and protocols as set out by the government.


Activities included in the guidelines document issued by the Dubai Economy include:


• Wholesalers and retailers including shopping malls, high street shops, and souqs. It excludes family entertainment, prayer rooms and cinemas.


• Transportation and logistics services including the metro, buses and taxis; and excluding water transport, car sharing, trams and limo services.


• Construction activities including construction of buildings, civil engineering, and specialised construction activities.


• All manufacturing activities.


• All offices and office buildings.


• Social welfare services including elderly and PWD care homes, rehabilitation and autism centres, women and children shelters, day care centres and juvenile centres.


Guidelines include, among many others, reduced opening and visiting hours, operating at reduced capacity, mandatory testing of employees and shoppers upon entry into office buildings and shopping malls, observance of preventive protocols and measures including social distancing, and masks and gloves which must be worn at all times by employees and shoppers.


All businesses must be on standby for the official announcements  of  the  date  and time of reopening. ■

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