Social distancing urged as large numbers turn out

PEOPLE showed up in droves at shopping malls and commercial districts across the country yesterday, as businesses reopened following two weeks of closure.

While majority of shoppers abided by a new rule making it compulsory to wear face masks in public to limit the spread of Covid-19, many did not observe proper social distancing guidelines.

Commercial and industrial stores have reopened, but cinemas, salons, private sport centres, gyms and pools will remain closed.

Sheesha cafes will also remain closed, while restaurants and cafes will continue to be limited to takeaway and delivery.

Popular malls such as City Centre Bahrain and Seef Mall welcomed visitors yesterday under strict precautionary measures including denying entry to anyone not wearing a face mask.

Some stores also checked shoppers’ temperatures and many had placed sanitisers at their counters as part of national efforts to combat the spread of the virus.

“We are delighted to visit the malls as everyone was getting a bit anxious sitting indoors, despite knowing this is for the best interest for all,” said a British national, who was shopping with her 12-year-old son.

Another shopper, a Bahraini woman with her husband, said they had taken all precautionary measures in order to leave the house.

“We stepped out like others wearing our face masks and gloves to visit the shopping mall and this is also good retail therapy,” she said.

Food courts inside shopping malls also witnessed long queues of customers waiting for take away orders.

Social distancing stickers were placed on the floors of stores, while others placed instructions that not more than five customers were allowed inside.

Violations to the social distancing guidelines were also witnessed in Al Mutanabi Avenue in Manama, where migrant workers were standing in large numbers outside cold stores and even gathering outside buildings.

The commercial and industrial businesses will remain open to customers until April 23.




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