Retail Stores in Malls Closed, Supermarkets Open, Restaurants only Take-Out & Delivery

During the past few days, officials have released several curricular to ensure order and safety during the pandemic. These refer to establishments that need to close temporarily and which are allowed to continue to operate. But some of the instructions have caused misunderstanding, resulting to clarification of the rules.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently clarified that retail outlets located in large malls and shopping centers are also ordered closed, except for pharmacies and medical centers, restaurants and cafes, and food supplies stores. The Ministry also clarified that the closure decision doesn’t apply to establishments outside malls.

Ministry Clarifies Instructions on Commercial Establishments

The Ministry of Commerce and Instruction has released curricular for commercial establishments regarding precautionary measures to contain the pandemic. These instruct which stores are allowed to operate, and which stores should close temporarily. These announcements have caused confusion to some, so the ministry released another statement to clear the misunderstanding.

Here is the clarification:

Through this statement, the public is informed that all retail shops and banks located in large malls and shopping centers, such as: Qatar Mall, Villaggio, Ezdan Mall, Q Mall, B Square Mall, Al Salam Mall, The Gate Mall, City Cente, and Laguna, will be closed.

Shops that are allowed to operate are pharmacies and medical centers, restaurants and cafes, and food supplies stores like hypermarkets, supermarkets, sweets shops and ice cream shops.

However, dining in is NOT allowed in the restaurants. But these can process take-away and delivery orders only.

The Ministry’s announcement also clarified that for malls that include retail shops like: Al Meera and Lulu Hypermarket, all other outlets will be closed except for those selling food and consumer goods, restaurants and cafes and pharmacies. If these malls contain establishments such as bank branches, women’s and men’s accessory shops, and perfume stores, they will also be temporarily closed for operations.

Meanwhile, commercial establishments such as Al Furjan Markets and Souq Waqif are not covered by the circular regarding the store closure order. These establishments are not located inside malls.

Observe Safe Distance in Retail Outlets

The Ministry has also instructed retail outlets to observe safe distancing inside the stores. To ensure that the proper distance is observed, every 1.5 meter should be marked on the ground. This is the distance to be observed among customers, cashiers and reception desks on stores that are allowed to operate.

This directive to follow safe distancing is still part of the government’s precautionary measures to contain the pandemic. This directive to retail outlets took effect on March 23, 2020. Those who violate will be penalized.

Here is the message from the Ministry:

For updates regarding the pandemic, see our other posts.