Indoor dining and classes suspended for three weeks

INDOOR dining in restaurants and cafes, and physical attendance in all schools will be suspended for three weeks from Sunday as efforts are stepped up to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Bahrain has registered a steady rise in the daily number of coronavirus cases over the past few weeks.

The GDN reported yesterday that the kingdom had registered 459 new cases on Tuesday, 413 on Monday, 361 on Sunday and 246 on Saturday.

Revealing that the new Covid-19 variant had been found among active cases in Bahrain, Health Ministry Under-Secretary and National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (Covid-19) senior member Dr Waleed Al Manea said the nation was facing a new challenge requiring intensified joint efforts to combat the pandemic.

“Given the new developments and following a comprehensive study by the medical team in charge of combating Covid-19, it was decided that physical attendance in public and private schools will be suspended for three weeks from Sunday,” he said.

He was speaking during a virtual Press conference from the Crown Prince Centre for Training and Medical Research at the BDF Hospital yesterday.

Also present were taskforce monitoring committee head Lieutenant Colonel Dr Manaf Al Qahtani, taskforce member and Salmaniya Medical Complex infectious and internal diseases consultant Dr Jameela Al Salman and Public Security Chief Lieutenant General Tariq Al Hassan.


“Schools, private and public higher education institutes, nurseries and kindergartens, government rehabilitation centres as well as private training institutes will continue with distance learning.

“However, administrative, educational and technical staff will keep attending to their duties at these institutions to ensure services continue uninterrupted, while physical presence will continue at public and private centres for people with special needs.

Dr Al Manea said indoor dining in restaurants and cafes will also be suspented for three weeks from Sunday.

The GDN previously reported that these outlets had reopened on October 24 last year after a seven-month shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Preventive measures limited indoor occupancy to a maximum of 30 customers at any given time, social distancing, wearing of face masks, maintaining the appropriate distance between tables, and allowing a maximum of 50 per cent of table seating with a limit of six individuals per table.

Dr Al Manea said the situation is reviewed regularly and strict adherence to precautionary measures will be taken into account while deciding whether to open or close establishments.

“There will be more testing and the process of contact tracing will also be enhanced to rapidly reach active cases for treatment and recovery,” he added.

Separately, the Labour and Social Development Ministry, in charge of kindergartens, nurseries and social centres, issued a circular yesterday stating that distance learning will start from Sunday.

The Education Ministry also announced that in-person studying will be suspended at public and private schools, kindergartens and higher education institutions for three weeks, starting from Sunday.

Virtual classes will be held, said a statement.

However, all administrative, teaching and technical staff at all educational institutions will be exempted from the decision.




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