Today, a press conference was held headed by H.E. Lolwa Bint Rashid Al Khater, Spokesperson for the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, on the latest developments and prudential decisions taken by the State of Qatar to combat the coronavirus.
As part of the continued efforts by the State of Qatar to reduce gatherings and implement the necessary preventive measures to halt the new Coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has decided to completely shut down the following non-essential businesses starting tomorrow, 27 March 2020:
– All cafes and cafeterias.
– Education services and support centers.
– Centers providing arts, theatrical and entertainment services.
– Wedding and event services shops.
– Shoe and watch repair kiosks.
Aside from these, shops opening hours are 6 am to 7 pm, and they are not allowed to operate at other times.
Vital sectors determined by the Cabinet, food stores (supermarket/grocery), pharmacies, and delivery services including food delivery (restaurants), are excluded.
Furthermore, Assistant Undersecretary for Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Saleh Al Khulaifi reviewed the mechanisms for applying the decision to close some of the stores that were issued today and the sectors covered by it, pointing out that the decision aims to reduce the spread of the disease, especially since most of the activities that were closed are not vital and have direct contact between the "employee and customer".
He added that the working hours of the stores, that were not mentioned, were specified from 6 am until 7 pm, and that excluding vital activities such as infrastructure, electricity, water, and communications services. Logistics delivery services for hypermarkets and pharmacies or delivery services from restaurants were kept as usual.
Al Khulaifi added that the Ministry has set strict requirements to be applied to food delivery companies and met with all the delivery through online application companies and explained to them these procedures to keep life normal with the application of the highest health and safety standards. He pointed out that the Ministry's inspectors are carrying out periodic campaigns at the stores to ensure their commitment to these conditions.
Assistant Undersecretary for Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry explained that it has been coordinated with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs to reduce the number of service centers and educate citizens to use online services, noting that the centers that are in service follow preventive measures such as the system of expanding distances between clients and employees.
Al Khulaifi added that the Ministry also issued regulatory decisions based on the Consumer Protection Law regulating shopping in commercial stores where safe distances should be kept "one and a half meters" between customers and the specialized employee and organizing customer entry and exit according to the capacity of each store to avoid crowding, praising the role of the private sector, which was keen on putting awareness and organizational posters.
Source: Government Communications Office, Qatar News Agency
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