Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi announces cinemas in shopping malls to reopen

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Cinemas inside shopping malls across Abu Dhabi are set to reopen following a period of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, state news agency WAM reported Monday.

Cinemas had been closed as authorities moved to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus, but in recent weeks the UAE has gradually begun to lift some of its lockdown rules.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) issued a circular to the owners of shopping malls inside Abu Dhabi that they could resume their businesses, operating at only a 30 percent capacity, with continuous sanitization and cleaning programs in place, WAM reported.

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Cinema owners will also need to comply with ongoing social distancing and mask wearing requirements, in addition to COVID-19 tests for all staff.

“Granting the cinema reopening permit is subject to the fulfillment of all the set of requirements,” Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, under-secretary of ADDED said, according to WAM.

Cinemas will also need to offer hand sanitizers in all public and prominent areas, and food and beverage products will need to be provided in disposable single-use utensils, containers, and cups. Electronic payments and online ticket offerings are also encouraged to limit potential interaction of customers and staff.

Penalties will be issued for those cinemas that do not follow the guidelines, the circular said.

On Sunday, authorities reported an additional 210 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 64,312. The number of recoveries, however, hit 57,694, meaning that nearly 90 percent of those who have been infected by the virus have recovered.

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