Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi allows restaurants, cafes to operate at 80 pct capacity

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Restaurants and other licensed food outlets in Abu Dhabi can now operate at 80 percent capacity amid strict coronavirus preventative measures, the emirate’s Department of Economic Development announced in a circular on Wednesday.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The updated guidelines include restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, licensed food outlets and catering and hospitality services inside and outside of malls.

The DED listed further precautionary measures that businesses must implement in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Face masks and gloves are required at all times and contactless payment methods are encouraged.

Furthermore, employees are required to undergo a laser-based DPI screening every two weeks in designated test centers. This technique can reportedly detect inflammation caused by viruses in blood samples within seconds. If it appears that an individual has some kind of inflammation, they are required to undergo a COVID-19 nose swab.

Employees are also required to undergo temperature checks every two hours while on shift, according to the latest DED guidelines.

Surfaces and tabletops are to be sanitized regularly and all buffets, open food displays and food samples are still restricted unless in a hotel setting where dedicated waiters serve the food.

Abu Dhabi has maintained its strict border policy despite a decrease in the United Arab Emirates' daily confirmed coronavirus cases. Only those showing negative results of a test taken within 48 hours are allowed to enter the emirate.

Rapid DPI testing is available at the border for those driving from Dubai, however, an appointment is required and there is about a two-week waiting list to book a spot, according to its website.

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