Social distancing at Dubai restaurants won’t increase despite media reports

A draft Dubai Municipality document has been widely shared, leading to confusion
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Dubai municaplity, Social distancing, Dubai

A draft report on social distancing requirements at Dubai restaurants by Dubai Municipality’s Food Safety Department has prompted concerns of much stricter rule enforcement for dine-in, however senior sources have told Caterer Middle East this is not the case.

The report, released this morning (September 15) and reported by some media outlets before being finalised, seemed to suggest that 2m social distancing would be required between guests at the same table if they’re not from the same family.

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This would mean a 2m x 2m table would be required for a group of four friends to dine together, effectively making it impossible for many smaller restaurants to operate.

However, multiple senior Dubai Municipality sources have said that enforcement of social distancing requirements for dine-in will continue as before, with a 2m distance between tables being required.

The main change to the rules in the draft report is that only four people are allowed at a table, with dividers to be used to create barriers after every four guests on larger tables.  Barriers can also be used to remove the required 2m social distancing between tables, effectively increasing restaurants’ ability to host more guests.

However, the report is yet to be finalised so restaurants should not make changes to their layouts until Dubai Municipality issues official guidance.

Caterer Middle East has been told of table cancellations at Dubai restaurants due to the news being incorrectly reported.

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