OPEN FOR 30: Dine-in decision for Saturday night out

MANAMA: Restaurants and cafés will throw open their doors to dine-in customers from Saturday, for a maximum of 30 people at a time.

Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Waleed Al Manea, who confirmed the decision, added that students will start returning to campuses across Bahrain from Sunday.

However, parents of kindergarten pupils will have the option to choose between in-person classes and distance learning.

Dr Al Manea said the decisions were based on commendable “public commitment” to health guidelines leading to a drop in coronavirus (Covid-19) infections in the country.

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

Dr Al Manea

“Restaurants and cafés will open to the public for dine-in from October 24 with a restriction of 30 people at a time and all precautionary measures in place,” said Dr Al Manea.

“On October 25, students at all academic levels in government and private schools will return to schools, as also kindergarten students whose parents choose to attend school.

“Co-ordination continues with the Education Ministry to ensure the safe return of students, and all preparations are in place to do this in rotation.

“A health team has been formed in each school which is responsible for organising and implementing health procedures, setting protocols for receiving staff and students, including checking their temperatures, social distancing and continuous disinfection and sterilisation of all facilities.

“Clear and implementable guidelines have been set up within educational institutions to ensure a safe learning environment, and to help staff to respond quickly in the event of any suspected case.

“The classroom capacity has been limited by leaving a distance of at least one-and-a-half metre between students’ chairs.”

Dr Al Manea, who lauded people’s commitment to health guidelines, however cautioned them not to take the drop in infection rates for granted.

“In the last four weeks we have witnessed a commitment that contributed to reducing the prevalence rates.

“Reducing or increasing prevalence rates comes as a result of a decision made by each of us, which impacts the health of our small family at home and our larger society.

“All decisions have been taken after careful study and analysis of the situation but we could reverse any of these if there is a spread or hike in infection.”

The GDN earlier reported that daily new cases dropped by 45 per cent in the last week.

“On September 17, the number of existing cases reached a record 6,885,” he noted.

“With a responsible spirit, together we reached an improvement in daily results, with 3,773 cases on October 14, a decrease of 45pc.

“Everyone must continue to be careful to adhere to the precautionary measures and instructions and limit gatherings and contacts.

“This is the only way to contain and, in turn, eliminate the virus.”

Present at the Press conference were National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus monitoring committee head Lieutenant Colonel Dr Manaf Al Qahtani and taskforce member and Salmaniya Medical Complex Consultant of Infectious and Internal Diseases Dr Jameela Al Salman.




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