Coronavirus Pandemic

Reopening responsibly: Abu Dhabi allows restaurants, cafes to operate at 80% capacity

Karen Ann Monsy /Abu Dhai Filed on July 29, 2020 | Last updated on July 29, 2020 at 05.47 pm
restaurants, cafes , 80% capacity, covid-19

(Photo: Alamy)

The new circular applies to F&B outlets both inside and outside shopping malls.

Restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and other licensed food outlets in Abu Dhabi can now operate at 80 per cent capacity, according to a new circular issued by the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi.

The directive outlined several guidelines that establishments will need to follow to ensure public safety. They are as follows:

> Employees will need to undergo laser-based DPI screening every two weeks at designated test centres, and at-work temperature checks every two hours during working hours.

> Vulnerable members of staff must be prevented from returning to work, with outlets relying on employees with low-risk health status in order to ensure workplace health and safety.

> All staff members must have their body temperature checked on arrival using an infrared thermometer. Outlets located outside malls are permitted to use manual temperature screening devices. Entry must be denied to anyone displaying a high temperature.

> All buffets, open food displays and food samples are to be restricted, except in hotels where buffets are served by dedicated waiters, as per guidelines outlined by Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA).

> Face masks and gloves are mandatory.

> Floor signage must be installed to indicate social distancing of two metres, and a maximum of four customers per table.

> Reusable glasses, plates and cutlery can be used only if properly santised. Else, establishments must opt for single-use utensils.

> Frequently touched surfaces and equipment must be regularly sanitised.

> Fevers or virus symptoms among employees must be reported immediately to the Department of Health (DoH).

> Contactless payment methods to be encouraged.

The new circular applies to F&B outlets both inside and outside shopping malls, and is part of the emirate's strategy to ensure business continuity while protecting the health and safety of staff and consumers at these establishments.

It follows measures implemented by Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis & Disaster Committee for the Covid-19 pandemic.


Karen Ann Monsy

A ‘Dubai child’, Karen has been writing for magazines for close to a decade. She covers trends, community, social issues and human interest features. Whether it’s overcoming disability, breaking stereotypes or simply relating the triumphs of everyday lives, she seeks out those stories that can uplift, encourage and inspire. You can find her favourite work at

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