Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee on Thursday issued guidelines on how to safely shop during Ramadan.
In collaboration with the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, the Committee also urged the public to carry out general precautionary measures to preserve their health and safety against COVID-19.
Authorities encouraged residents to order essential items online and to avoid going to crowded markets and shopping centres, and stressed that distributing and exchanging meals between neighbours, families and friends is prohibited.
Individuals from the most vulnerable groups should reduce their interactions with others by avoiding gatherings and unnecessary outings, while Ramadan night gatherings in majlises should also be avoided.
Intensified inspection and monitoring campaigns will be conducted to ensure compliance with precautionary measures, with violators reported to the Attorney-General.
Residents have also been encouraged to minimise visits to grocery stores and other shops when buying essential household items, and, if it is necessary to shop in-person while avoid peak hours. Basic items such as groceries, fruits, vegetables and meat should be purchased online, if possible.
When shopping in person, carefully disinfect the handles of shopping trolleys, and do not touch products that you won’t purchase.
Use disinfectant wipes to clean items bought after arriving at home, and carefully wash fruits and vegetables.
The measures also state that is it safer to choose to pay electronically, whether by card or through mobile payment apps, and to choose to use escalators or stairs whenever possible, instead of elevators. Individuals from the most vulnerable groups, such as senior citizens and those with chronic diseases, should avoid going shopping.
The general precautionary and preventive measures include:
- The mandatory wearing of face masks in public, especially near individuals from vulnerable groups
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth before washing hands
- Covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and disposing of it immediately after use.
- The measures also include regularly sanitising hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or washing well with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched items and surfaces and keeping a physical distance of at least two metres.
COVID-19 patients should consult with a doctor before fasting.
Group iftar and suhour gatherings should be limited to family members who live in the same household. Iftar meal donations are allowed through online distribution platforms, while offering and distributing meals in public areas, including in front of homes, mosques and restaurants, is prohibited, except by authorised entities.
- Congregational prayers in mosques for men should not exceed 30 minutes.
- Paying zakat and alms donations can be done online through the websites of various charities, while religious studies lectures and Holy Quran recital sessions are also to be offered online.
- Ramadan greetings and wishes are to be extended through online communication platforms instead of physical gatherings or attending majlis.
- Family and friends should gather virtually during Ramadan nights instead of physically at gatherings or at home visits. Individuals and commercial entities are prohibited from setting up Ramadan iftar tents.