Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi and Sharjah malls begin to open

Yas Mall and Galleria Mall have opened and shopping centres in Sharjah will begin trading on Sunday

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Abu Dhabi has begun to open its malls and welcome back shoppers, with Sharjah set to follow on Sunday.

Yas Mall and Galleria Mall were among those to return to trading this weekend.

The move followed a gradual roll out of retail in the city after several weeks of closures.

In the capital, all retail staff along with security guards, restaurant workers and management were tested for Covid-19 before returning to work.

In Sharjah, malls will be able to open between midday and 9pm and including salons and eateries can trade for the first time in weeks.

Stores must ensure stores are at no more than 30 per cent capacity.

Sharjah Economic Development Department reiterated the need for shoppers to wear "masks and gloves". The other emirates have relaxed the need to wear gloves but masks are mandatory by law.

At Galleria Mall on Saturday, thermal scanners and temperature scanners were used to ensure shoppers did not show signs of fever.

Security were on hand to space out shoppers and enforce rules. Retailers can only accommodate one customer for every five metres of store space. Cards and particularly contactless payments are encouraged where possible.

Hairdressers and grooming salons also opened.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work with government authorities to implement safety measures, putting the health and well-being of guests first," said Ali Eid Al Mheiri, executive director in the retail and infrastructure division of Mubadala Investment Company, which operates the mall.