Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has issued a list of COVID-19 precautionary regulations for commercial establishments to follow now that they can resume services.
The long list covers a broad range of businesses and entities such as driving schools, education academies, tailors, wedding halls, daycare centers, spas, mosques, flights, public transport, cafes and restaurants, among others.
Wedding halls have resumed activities on the condition that guest numbers are capped at 50 and for them to wear face masks for the duration of the celebrations. Wedding protocols also include single-use cups and utensils and limiting the celebration to no more than five hours.
Several businesses share health recommendations, such as ensuring a safe distance of 1.5 meters between people by highlighting stickers on the ground, providing hand sanitizers within view for customers and employees, disinfecting the area a minimum of twice a day, and checking the temperature of visitors and workers, while not allowing entry to anyone with a temperature of more than 38° C.
The ministry has also recommended making a room available to hold any people suspected to have COVID-19, ensuring the availability of e-payment methods, and capping the number of individuals allowed in an enclosed space in facilities like public bathrooms and waiting rooms.
Office spaces and academic institutes have been instructed to disable their clocking-in systems for the time being, cut back on paperwork and pivot toward electronic documentation to avoid spreading the virus. A monitoring body should be appointed to eliminate social gatherings around cubicles, parking areas and waiting rooms.
Children below the age of seven are not allowed into gyms, beauty salons, barbershops and tailors’ workshops. Tailors have also been instructed to avoid physical contact with customers when taking their measurements.
Beauty and barbers’ salons are expected to change equipment after every customer and disinfect the seating area before taking on another client. Spas have received strict protocols due to the nature of their service. A masseuse or someone giving a Moroccan bath in these establishments needs to use single-use tools with towels, loofahs and soap.
They must ensure that the products used, such as lotions and oil, are in a container, if not disposed of or replaced after every customer. They also need to be fully equipped with protective gear, wearing masks, gloves, a face protector or goggles, as well as their professional uniform.
Customers must also be checked in one at a time, and the spa worker needs to seat people at different spots than ones previously occupied. It is also preferable to air out sauna rooms and bathhouses after each customer to allow ventilation.
Restaurants and cafes were given recommendations to use electronic menus, or share QR-coded ones with customers, and have single-use utensils.
The ministry also gave instructions that ought to be followed when there has been a confirmed COVID-19 case in any establishment.