Business establishments such as restaurants, coffee shops and sheesha cafes will now be strictly monitored for compliance with the measures of the Supreme Committee in charge of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Violators will be fined RO1,000.
H E Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, issued Ministerial Decision No 29/2021 on Sunday to deal with violators of the decisions of the Supreme Committee.
The decision states that the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion will monitor compliance at restaurants and cafes, and establishments that offer sheesha, with the decisions issued by the Supreme Committee.
The decision stipulates that the ministry will register violations in these establishments and take necessary action on them.
‘The ministry may seek the assistance of the Royal Oman Police and the competent authorities in implementing the provisions of this decision,’ it stated.
Besides an administrative fine of RO1,000, repetition of violation will result in closure of the establishment for a month.
‘The fines collected will be transferred to an account of the fund designated to confront the COVID-19 pandemic,’ the decision stated.
Ministerial Decision No 29/2021 was issued on February 14, 2021 and will be effective starting the following day.
Muscat Municipality has set administrative controls and preventive measures for sheesha cafes. It has stated that workers in sheesha cafes should adhere to measures such as reducing capacity to 50 per cent, redistribution of tables to ensure a distance of at least 2m between each, and set guidelines for organising safe distancing in corridors and common places.
The measures include ‘cleaning and disinfection of all parts of the cafe, including tongs, and changing the water used in sheesha after each use’. In addition, workers are forbidden to test the sheesha before it is presented to a customer.
Single-use sheesha hoses that conform to specifications and standards must be used, while customers must be encouraged to bring their own sheesha mouthpiece.
Magazines, newspapers and all other publications are prohibited. Self-sealing containers must be provided at the entrance and in common areas for contaminated waste such as masks and gloves, which must be removed frequently.
The municipality prohibits elderly people over 60 years, children under 18 years and groups of more than four people in sheesha cafes. Additionally, every sheesha cafe must record the names of every employee and customer and the time of their entry and exit, and provide sterilisers of minimum 70 per cent alcohol content.
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