Coronavirus: Dubai’s Gold Souk reopens as restrictions begin to ease

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Dubai’s Gold Souk reopened to the public after restrictions on movement in both the Naif and al-Ras areas were eased, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

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Retail stores will be allowed to operate from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., while wholesale offices will be allowed to work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stores were asked to complete an extensive sterilization program with strict guidelines to ensure that they were safe to visit, according to WAM.

Retailers are allowed to have only 30 percent of their workforce and customers in their store at a time. People must adhere to social distancing practices at all times, and sanitizers, masks, and gloves must be made available to the staff.

The announcement to reopen the souk – located in al-Ras in the densely populated area of Deira where hundreds of coronavirus cases have been reported over the past month – came after no traces of the virus were detected.

The 24-hour curfew and complete lockdown that had been imposed in Naif and al-Ras was lifted, and restrictions on movement will be in place between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., as is the case across the rest of Dubai.

More than 6,000 tests among residents in the areas were conducted in less than a month in an effort to contain the outbreak, authorities said.

The United Arab Emirates has reported 11,380 coronavirus cases and 89 virus-related deaths so far.

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