Dubai Mall Image Credit: iStock

Every person entering a mall will be required to wear a mask and pass a coronavirus health check under new guidance issued from the Dubai government for when premises are allowed to reopen.

New protocols issued Wednesday will require malls to operate at 30 per cent capacity in stage one after reopening, with elderly people above 60 and children aged 3-12 not allowed in.

Visits will be limited to three hours per person.

The COVID-19 guidance did not say when Dubai malls will reopen.

Similar guidance has been issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development concerning malls in the UAE capital.

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As per the Dubai protocols, seen by Gulf News, all mall visitors will be required to observe two metre social distancing apart from family members, with shops not allowed to conduct sales or promotions to prevent overcrowding.

Mall car parks are to remain 75 per cent closed, with no valet parking allowed.

All entry points to malls must be open to prevent crowds with separate entry and exit doors, which should be electric and not manual.

Shop staff will be required to sanitize each item tried on by customers, including jewellery. When sanitization may damage a product, it should be quarantined, the guidelines say.

The guidelines are included in a document entitled ‘Guidance and Protocols for Reopening’, issued by the Government of Dubai and Dubai Economy.

It requires mall visitors to be encouraged to pay by card or other smart payment, although it states that cash payments will not be rejected.

Malls will be required to provide a dedicated area for anyone considered potentially positive for COVID-19 following temperature and other checks on entry.

Restaurants and food courts will also be limited to 30 per cent capacity, with two metres between all tables. Disposable plastic cutlery and dishes must be used at all times and surfaces cleaned with 75 per cent alcohol after every use.

Guidance specific to Abu Dhabi malls includes that malls should open between noon and 9pm, except supermarkets, pharmacies and foreign exchanges, which can open 9am to midnight.

Malls were closed in March as part of the UAE’s battle against the global coronavirus pandemic.

As of Wednesday, the UAE has 8,238 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 52 deaths and 1,546 patients who have recovered.