Coronavirus Pandemic

Sharjah wedding, event halls reopen: Key guidelines to be followed

Filed on November 16, 2020
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The guidelines include wearing face masks and gloves, and following social distance of two meters between people.

The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) has issued a circular spelling out a slew of protocols that should be followed by wedding venues and events halls, which were allowed to reopen from November 1 with strict anti-Covid measures. The department will carry out inspections to ensure compliance of these conditions and take stringent action against the offenders.

The guidelines include wearing face masks and gloves, and following social distance of two meters between people. The number of guests should not exceed 50 per cent of the hall's capacity and the facilities must organise awareness campaigns for employees about the prevention and protection against the infection, said Salim Ahmed Al Suwaidi, deputy director of commercial control and protection department at SEDD.

He pointed out that employees should follow the guidelines approved by the Ministry of Health and Prevention such as washing the hands, obtaining negative Covid-19 test report from accredited authorities before reopening halls, and take steps related to notifying health authorities of suspected Covid-19 cases.

Al Suwaidi added that it is a must to provide first aid services and personal protective equipment in addition to a dedicated space for isolating any suspected case and arrangements for transportation to a healthcare facility, if needed. He underlined the importance of streamlining a system that allows collection of information that helps health authorities to trace close contacts of infected people, if necessary and in a timely manner.

Guests, employees, organisers and those who attend an event, including cleaning and loading personnel, must be temperature-checked. Employees must be examined at the entrance of the facility in which the event will be held. Those with symptoms of Covid-19 such as "fever exceeding 37.5 degrees - cough - shortness of breath - sore throat - fatigue" should be prevented from entering the establishment, he said.

Complete disinfection of halls must be carried out before and after a day a wedding or event takes place. Frequent sterilisation of tables, chairs, equipment, appliances, remote controls, electrical and electronic switches and door handles are also necessary, Al Suwaidi stressed.

The measures listed also include provision of hand sanitisers, napkins and steriliser dispensers on tables and others attached to walls near entrances, exits and other places that can be accessed.

The SEDD top official averred that distribution of instructions and precautionary measures through posters or electrical boards around the halls is crucial. The facilities should ensure sanitising and cleaning of toilets after each use and installation of hand sanitiser dispensers or dispensers filled with soap, in addition to provision of waiting distance indicators in toilets, entrances, exits, and food or distribution areas. Conditions also include providing litter boxes with pedals lined with plastic bags in halls and deposing wastes according to laid-out procedures. There should be dedicated cleaners to regularly sterilise all entrances, elevators, escalators, or any facility or other surfaces subject to frequent contact.

Event personnel should be equipped with protective equipment such as "gloves - headgear" etc. when performing their duties. Staff uniforms must be sterilised and they must be informed of hygiene standards. In addition, food and beverage employees and service personnel must wear appropriate uniforms along with single-use masks and gloves, in addition to covering hair well at all times.

Al Suwaidi said the department will continue to carry out inspection campaigns on all economic establishments in Sharjah.

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