All commercial activities not covered by a closure decision will remain open for the time being, according to H E Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion.
He also confirmed that a package will be presented for SMEs by the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises in coordination with the Council of Ministers.
The minister said, “Most commercial activities will remain open at the present time. The sultanate has proven its ability to face the crisis and address it. There will be an evaluation of the current situation and previous decisions and their impact on the private sector. Consequently, procedures required to be implemented will target those affected.”
He added that during the ongoing pandemic in the sultanate and worldwide, “We urge all commercial establishments to follow precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus among customers. It has been recently noticed by the ministry that some malls and commercial centres, as well as restaurants and cafes, are not following the precautionary measures issued by the ministry in coordination with the Ministry of Health,” said H E Yousef.
“It is a joint responsibility of the government, individuals, community and businesses, and any violation from a particular activity can negatively affect other activities. So it is very important to follow the set precautionary measures, namely wearing masks, maintaining a safe distance of 2m between customers at cash counters, sanitising shopping trolleys, and regulating the entry of customers at a given time to avoid crowding.”
Talking about the economy, H E Yousef said that while it is vital, staying healthy by following the safety instructions remains the top priority in order to manage the crisis in the same way as it was done earlier paving the way for reopening of all commercial activities. “Adherence will enable us to avoid economic implications which might negatively impact the commercial markets in general and companies, institutions and entrepreneurs in particular.
“We urge all consumers to strictly follow these measures to reduce infection, minimise their shopping activities to the minimal necessary level, and to avoid shopping at rush hours between 7pm to 10pm. We also encourage all individuals to make use of online shopping,” the minster said.