The Abu Dhabi skyline.


New rules to reopen Abu Dhabi hotels, bars, gyms during Covid-19


ABU DHABI – As Abu Dhabi gears up to reopen its hotels and their facilities, new rules have been set in place that is going to change how we stay there next.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has shared detailed guidelines in preparation for granting approvals to reopen hotels and their restaurants, lounges, bars, beaches, pools and gyms.

Hotels will now be able to reopen their facilities and resume business as soon as they complete the “readiness assurance requirements” by DCT Abu Dhabi and get approval.

The guidelines cover general measurements, social distancing rules, crowd control measures and rules for returning employees in order to resume business safely.

Some of the general rules include restricted operating hours for outlets, which can only be open from 6am until 7pm.

New rules for hotels and their facilities

Operating hours from 6am to 7pm
Regular sterilization of all facilities
Provision of hand sanitisers at entrances
Clear and separate entry and exit points
Installation of thermal cameras
Isolation room for suspected Covid-19 cases
Medical team on standby from 6am to 7pm
Visitors must wear masks
Smart payments preferred
Social distancing markings on floors and escalators
Elevators only for People of Determination
Only 4 people allowed per table
Each table set 2.5 metres apart
Establishments capped at 30 percent maximum capacity
Restaurants and lounges to have signages at entrance to indicate maximum number of customers allowed
No entertainment activity of any kind
Visitors at hotel facilities can stay for a maximum of 3 hours
Employees to pass Covid-19 test
Bi-weekly Covid-19 test on employees
Regular temperature checks on staff throughout work hours
Staff training for emergency protocols for Covid-19

Additional rules include the sterilisation of the facilities on a regular basis, the provision of hand sanitisers at the facility entrance, the defining of clear and separate entry and exit points, and the installation of thermal cameras that are integrated with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority system.

Also mandatory are an isolation room for suspected coronavirus cases and a medical team that is on standby throughout operating hours.

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All visitors must also wear masks at all times and should be encouraged to use “smart” payments as a preferred method to reduce contacts and contamination.

“As per our mandate to support and guide the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi in all aspects, the set of measures we have shared with our hotel partners will ensure that not only will they be able to resume trading at the earliest opportunity, but that when they do they will be following guidelines which will keep all members of the community safe and secure,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“The guidelines set out stringent criteria for the hotels to follow, which our inspectors will confirm with on-site visits. Once these high standards of health and safety are met, DCT Abu Dhabi will approve the reopening, and trading can resume. We are adamant that both hotel staff and visitors should be 100 per cent confident in their own safety, as we start the resumption of ‘normal’ activities since the pandemic situation arose,” he added.

The DCT Abu Dhabi guidelines also state strict social distancing and crowd control measures, which will also work to reassure staff and visitors that safety is paramount.

Social distancing markings will be clearly defined on floors and escalators and elevators will be entirely dedicated to People of Determination. Seating arrangements will stipulate that only four people will be allowed on each table, with 2.5 metres between each table.

Capacity for each establishment will be capped at 30 percent only of the total capacity of the establishment, and restaurants and lounges will be required to hang signage at the entrance to indicate the maximum number of allowed customers are already inside.

No entertainment activities of any kind will be allowed to begin with, and visitors will only be allowed to visit the facilities for a maximum of three hours.

There will also be very strict rules for returning employees, with each employee having to undergo a Covid-19 test before being allowed back to work, with these being performed on a bi-weekly basis.

Temperature checks will be carried out on all staff on a regular basis throughout working hours, with staff also trained for emergency response protocols for the Covid-19 virus. ICA/Expat Media

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