GCC explores ‘New normal’ with easing of lockdowns

Muscat: While decisions are expected today on the easing of lockdown in Oman, GCC countries have already announced their decisions in this regard.

UAE

UAE has eased restrictions, allowing people to return to the gyms and resume other activities. Gyms and cinemas will open and night restrictions will be between 11 pm and until 6 am.

Non-essential trips to the dentist are also among the services that will be allowed.

Gyms will operate at 50 percent of capacity, require the wearing of masks at all times, and must install plastic dividers between machines while changing facilities will remain closed.

Entertainment and leisure attractions, such as Dubai Ice Rink, will reopen.

Dubai International Airport will return to full operation after final approval from authorities.

Outsourced government service centers, such as those processing visas, will also resume work.

Social-distancing guidelines, requiring people to keep a two-meter distance from others outside homes, must be followed at all times, and masks remain mandatory outdoors.

Children below 12, adults above 60, and people with chronic diseases or who are prone to infection are still not allowed to enter malls, cinemas, or sports facilities.

And all residents returning from abroad, which will be permitted from June 1, must adhere to a 14-day quarantine at home.

In restaurants, disinfection must be carried out continuously and only single-use cutlery is allowed.

Mosques remain shut, as do public beaches. Hotel beaches are already open to guests.

People can step out of their houses to exercise for up to two hours a day, provided they wear masks and stay two metres apart.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia will begin a three-phase plan on May 28, state-run SPA reported Tuesday, citing the interior ministry. By the third phase, due to begin by June 21, all restrictions will be lifted to allow a return to normal. Pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina, however, as well as international flights will remain suspended as the rest of the country opens up for mass prayers and domestic travel.

Kuwait

Kuwait will replace the complete lockdown with a partial curfew as of May 31, a top official said on Monday.

The government had decided not to extend the 24-hour nationwide curfew imposed due to coronavirus outbreak after May 30. However, he said it will be replaced with a partial curfew that will be reduced gradually until normal life resumes.

Technical teams are working now to put final touches on plans to return to normal life.

Bahrain

Bahrain has announced it is going to ease some of the restrictions imposed nationwide to fight the spread of coronavirus.

All non-essential medical services are to resume operations, while ensuring the health and social distancing guidelines are thoroughly followed, according to the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus.

All employees and customers are required to wear face masks inside the premises

All businesses must limit overcrowding and ensure social distancing guidelines are followed.

Stores and facilities are to be regularly and thoroughly disinfected, in accordance with guidelines established by the Ministry of Health.

Additionally, all salons and barbershops are to reopen as of May 27, while ensuring the health and social distancing guidelines are followed. Professional sports players will also be allowed to resume their sport exercises in outdoor spaces and swimming pools, as long as health and social distancing guidelines are followed. Outdoor cinemas are allowed to operate, so long as health and social distancing guidelines are followed. Indoor cinemas will remain closed.