If you are headed to a shisha cafe, be mindful of the new rules Image Credit: Supplied

Ras Al Khaimah: If you are headed to a shisha cafe in the UAE, be mindful of the new rules.

As shisha and smoking cafes in Ras Al Khaimah were reopened from today, August 4, a look at the new protocols shows that all possible precautionary measures are taken in the UAE, leaving nothing to chance.

Ras Al Khaimah Municipality has announced that it has issued all necessary precautionary measures for these places to reopen starting August 4, with regular inspections to be conducted to ensure compliance.

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In March, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality and RAK Economic Department ordered the closure of cafés as part of the measures to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Based on the municipality’s external circular, 25 regulations and safety protocols have been listed for the reopening of shisha cafes.

The precautionary measures that shisha cafes must comply with

1. Employees and staff must wear masks at working time.

2. It’s prohibited for customers to enter the premises without masks.

3. Customer’s capacity for cafes must be minimised to 50 per cent.

4. If an employee tests COVID-19 positive, they shall not return to work unless a medical certificate accredited by the Ministry of Health and Prevention has been obtained. 

5. Shisha staff must commit to washing hands before and after providing the service.

6. The temperatures of employees, workers and visitors who wish to enter the facility area must be measured for compliance.

If a condition is detected and COVID-19 symptoms suspected, the National Ambulance hotline must be contacted.

8. The facility must maintain integrated records (for employees, workers and visitors), smokers or accompanying individuals. (Including names, phone numbers and visit dates, for the purpose of providing support if contact tracking becomes necessary and to maintain accurate work records for employees.

9. Contract with a sanitation and sterilisation company approved by the Public Health Department is advised.

10. Cleaning and disinfection of all common surfaces and common areas of the facility after each use is a must. They include rails, counters, countertops, tables, chairs, handles, doors, lighting switches, bathrooms, all equipment, furniture, handrails, Armrests, electronics, reception area, shisha setup areas.

11. Only disposable hoses are allowed.

12. Deep washing and disinfection of shisha and change of water should be done after each user.

13. Shisha is not allowed to be tested by employees prior to presentation.

14. Increase frequency of hygiene and disinfection in smoking areas.

15. The facility shall appoint a responsible person to supervise the daily and continuous cleaning and be trained in the best practices and requirements of the Public Health department.

16. Special contaminated waste containers should be provided at all major entrances and in the common areas of contaminated waste like masks, gloves, etc. and must be removed frequently.

17. Provide hand sterilisers in different areas of the site.

18. Ensure that the safe spacing distance (2 metres) is maintained at all throughout the café / restaurant / facility.

19. Clear ground signs and signs indicating distance should be provided clearly physical.

20. Distribution of all furniture and tables to comply with the safe distance guidelines.

21. Large gathering or parties are not permitted.

22. Groups of more than four people are not allowed in the smoking area.

23. Clean and disinfect all parts of the shisha including tongs, before and after each user.

24. Shisha places should be provided with a fresh air system.

25. Ensure that the door is closed between the smoking area and the non-smoking area permanently.