Floor signs supermarkets
Supermarkets and shops across the emirates have implemented a series of measures to encourage social distancing in public areas as part of the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Image Credit: Screengrab

Abu Dhabi: Supermarkets and retail outlets have installed placards and floor signs to educate customers on how to practice social distancing, requiring residents to keep at least a 1.5-metre-distance in queues.

As of March 21, the UAE recorded 13 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 153. Seven new patients have also recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recovered cases in the country to 38.

The move was made following the announcement by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NECDMA), to close public and private beaches, parks, swimming pools, movie theatres, and sports halls and lounges for a period of two weeks, starting March 22.

In a series of tweets, Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (Adafsa) has instructed all food establishments in Abu Dhabi to comply with a number of preventative measures, which are in line with precautionary measures and government procedures to enhance food safety,

“Shopping malls and retail businesses in Abu Dhabi have launched an initiative to support social distancing practices at the check-out, placing stickers on the floor to keep at least 1.5 meters distance between people queueing, in line with public health guidelines."

“Crowding and queues for purchases are to be prevented, and a distance of at least 1.5 metres kept between shoppers in queues, indicated by signs on the ground. E-shopping and home delivery services through digital applications are strongly encouraged.”

Food establishment were instructed to ensure that employees are medically fit and must maintain a record of employee absences. An intensive inspection campaign will be carried out to verify compliance with these procedures, and legal action will be taken against violators.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) in the UAE also advised residents to practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

The Dubai Economy Department (DED) earlier issued a circular instructing all retails and business outlets in Dubai to apply the terms of social distancing, with a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between all individuals by placing clear signage on the floor for payment queues and reception areas.

These establishments will be subjected to inspections to verify their compliance effective March 22, 2020.