200227 Bahrain
A man wearing a surgical mask is pictured in the heart of the Bahraini capital Manama on February 26, 2020. Bahrain has lifted some restrictions imposed to counter the spread of the coronavirus. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Bahrain has announced it is going to ease some of the restrictions imposed nationwide to fight the spread of coronavirus, the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported on Friday.

All non-essential medical services are to resume operations, while ensuring health and social distancing guidelines are thoroughly followed, according to the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus.

During a press conference held on Friday, the taskforce said that commercial and industrial businesses can resume usual operations, provided that the following conditions are met:

- All employees and customers are required to wear face masks inside the premises

- In order to reduce the number of individuals using facilities at any one time, businesses must limit overcrowding and ensure social distancing guidelines are followed

- Stores and facilities are to be regularly and thoroughly disinfected, in accordance with guidelines established by the Ministry of Health.

The conditions also include that businesses must place appropriately spaced floor markings for queueing at the entrance of the stores, to maintain social distancing guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

Additionally, all salons and barber shops are to reopen as of May 27, while ensuring health and social distancing guidelines are followed. Professional sports players will also be allowed to resume their sport exercises in outdoor spaces and swimming pools, as long as health and social distancing guidelines are followed.

Outdoor cinemas are allowed to operate, so long as health and social distancing guidelines are followed. Indoor cinemas will remain closed.

These decisions were approved by the Government’s Executive Committee during a virtual meeting chaired by Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.

Small gatherings for Eid

Among the new decisions taken were that Eid celebrations are to be limited to small family gatherings only, for those residing in the same household and that social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to by avoiding Eid visits. The new decision also stipulates that Eid greetings should be done virtually while Eidiyas should be transferred electronically using bank and money transfer applications.

The Crown Prince highlighted that the Kingdom will continue to fight the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), noting that the health and safety of the community remains the Kingdom’s top priority.

He extended his gratitude to Team Bahrain’s front-line workers and professionals, who have persistently and selflessly devoted their efforts to safeguarding the health of all.

He went on to emphasise the Kingdom’s efficient management of the challenges presented by the global spread of COVID-19, adding that health guidelines, measures and public awareness campaigns are critical to the success of mitigation efforts.

The Crown Prince underscored the importance of continuing to follow health guidelines to support national efforts aimed at combating and eradicating the virus.

On Thursday night, Bahrain recorded 135 new coronavirus cases, the majority of which were detected in migrant workers, bringing the total number of active infections in the country to 4,289, the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday.

The island kingdom’s Ministry of Health also announced that an additional 158 cases of COVID-19 patients recovered from the virus and have now been removed from the isolation and treatment centres.

Recent data on Bahrain’s Ministry of Health website showed that 135 new cases of coronavirus were recorded, including 78 cases among migrant workers, 56 cases of infections due to contacts with existing cases, and one case of a patient arriving from abroad, bringing the number of infected to 4,289 so far.