Bahrain: Frequently Asked Questions on Closure of Businesses

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The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism responds to frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the closure of Industrial and Commercial businesses in order to prevent the spread of (COVID-19), which takes effect from March 26, 2020 at 7pm, until April 9, 2020 at 7pm.

Can commercial businesses continue to work inside the store without receiving customers or prepare requests for delivery?
Yes, it is possible to practice various commercial activities not referred to in the exceptions mentioned in the decision, provided that the stores are closed and do not receive customers. The sale of goods and services can be carried out via electronic means or social media, and goods can be delivered through delivery services.

Do food and beverage retailers such as groceries and convenience stores carry out their activities as usual?
Yes, they do.

Will the hotels operate as usual?
Yes, provided that food shall not be served in their restaurants; instead in the rooms, otherwise for takeaway and delivery.

Can businesses that have branches inside hypermarkets – and do not serve food – practice their activities? If the hypermarket has multiple floors, one of which is for selling food, while the other floors display non-food items such as furniture, decor, clothes, etc., can these other floors remain open?
Yes, the hypermarket is allowed to open its stores as long as they are within the boundaries of the hypermarket, and not next to or opposite to it in a mall.

Can veterinary clinics and animal medicine businesses practice their activities?
Yes, veterinary clinics can operate normally.

Can carpentry, welding, aluminum, and upholstery workshops operate normally?
Yes. These workshops can receive and carry out requests for sites under construction. However, installation in populated sites is prohibited.

Can laundries carry out their activities?
No, laundries shall be closed. Work shall be performed inside the laundry without receiving customers, and to deliver orders only.

Can businesses selling sanitary ware and building tools carry out their activities?
Yes, they can.

Can real estate sales offices practice their activities?
Administrative offices can operate normally without receiving clients.

Can Batelco, Zain, STC practice their activities?
Work is permitted inside the offices without receiving clients. Services shall be provided to clients via electronic means and social media.

Can car wash and polish businesses practice their activities?
Businesses providing multiple services, such as car maintenance and washing, can perform their activities normally, while businesses that are limited to providing washing and polishing services shall be closed, except for businesses that provide mobile service (performing services in the customer’s own house) with compliance with the rules and procedures issued by the Ministry of Health; most notably, social distancing.

Can building construction businesses continue to work as usual?
Yes, building and construction materials businesses can continue to operate normally by selling materials. Also, building and construction workers can continue to work in sites under construction, but working in populated sites is strictly prohibited.

Can businesses that provide repair services and water and electricity maintenance services continue to work?
Yes, these businesses shall operate normally to provide service at the clients’ sites without receiving clients inside their stores, while adhering to the rules and procedures issued by the Ministry of Health; most notably, social distancing.

Can car maintenance, vehicle and motorcycle spare parts businesses continue to work?
Yes, they can carry out their activities in the after-sales service provided that it abides by the rules and procedures issued by the Ministry of Health; most notably, social distancing.

Are upholstery businesses affected by the closing decision?
Yes.

Are men’s and women’s salons and gyms affected by the closing decision? Is it allowed to provide the service at the clients’ houses?
Yes, they do, and they are not allowed to provide service to clients anywhere.

Do optical businesses close?
These businesses can operate normally.

On April 9, 2020 after 7 pm, can businesses be resumed normally?
Yes, given the current data; unless new decisions are issued.

Can businesses working in the ship repair industry continue to work as usual?
Yes, they work normally, only as far as a repair is concerned.

Can workers work on project sites such as buildings, roads, etc.?
Yes, they work normally while adhering to the rules and procedures issued by the Ministry of Health; most notably, social distancing.

Can businesses selling and repairing mobile phones operate normally?
No.

Can professional services offices, lawyers, engineering or administrative consulting and accounting offices practice their activities?
Yes, they can work inside their offices without receiving customers.

Can car rental businesses carry out their activities?
No, they can only receive the rented cars back according to the expiration of the rental agreement, while adhering to the rules and procedures issued by the Ministry of Health; most notably, social distancing.

Can cosmetic clinics perform their activities?
It cannot as per the rules and procedures issued by the Ministry of Health. This includes non-medical beauty salons.

Are insurance companies affected by the closing decision?
Yes, however, they can continue to work via electronic means.

Are laboratories and the like affected by the closing decision?
No, they work normally.

Do food and beverage trucks provide the services as normal?
Yes. The rules applied to restaurants apply to them; they can provide takeaway orders and delivery services.

Are import and export businesses affected by the closing decision?
Import and export businesses working in freight transport (logistics sector) are not affected by the closing decision. This includes local companies, as well as branches of global companies while adhering to the rules and procedures issued by the Ministry of Health; most notably, social distancing.

Can alternative medicine businesses offer herbal treatments, massage treatments, oils, and more?
Yes, only licensed businesses are allowed. However, they are not allowed to provide massage services.

Do gyms, entertainment venues, and outside courts close?
Yes, these must be closed.

Is it possible to work inside the office and lock the exterior door?
Yes, work can be performed inside the store without receiving clients or customers.

What about government and private clearance offices?
It is possible to work inside the office only and provide services by any means of communication without receiving customers and clients.

Are gold and jewelry businesses affected by the closing decision?
Yes, they can only deliver orders to clients.

Are electronics, refrigerators, air conditioners, and household items repair businesses affected by the closing decision?
They can repair inside the store and communicate with clients by any suitable means, with the possibility to receive clients while adhering to the rules and procedures issued by the Ministry of Health; most notably, social distancing.

What about audit firms?
The administrative offices of the company’s headquarters can remain open. In addition, the auditor can go to the client’s office to audit accounts. Receiving clients in the administrative offices is prohibited, while communication is conducted via the available electronic means.

Can tailoring businesses carry out their activities?
No, they must remain closed. The tailor can work from inside the store without receiving customers, and just deliver orders.

Can vehicles, motorcycles, furniture, ceramics showrooms carry out their activities?
No, showrooms are neither allowed to open nor receive clients.

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