Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi to certify malls and attractions safe after health inspections

The Go Safe certificates will vouch for standards of cleanliness

Abu Dhabi is rolling out a new safety certificate to vouch for standards of cleanliness in malls, restaurants, theme parks and other public spaces.

Venues will undertake self-assessments based on guidelines, which will be verified in inspections by officials from the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi).

If the checklist is met, the attraction will receive the Go Safe certificate.

It is the first programme of its kind in the region.

“As we look forward to reviving tourism in the capital, we aim to not only meet, but to exceed all existing international benchmarks through a strategy that promotes consumer safety in every step of the way; from the moment they land at our airports to their eventual departure," said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of tourism and marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

"The launch of Go Safe goes hand-in-hand with the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government to combat the spread of diseases, which include widespread testing, city-wide sanitation, social distancing, and enhancing healthcare services."

W Hotel Abu Dhabi was the first to be awarded the certificate in the emirate.

Six additional hotels, four attractions, two theme parks, two malls and a public beach will follow before the programme is rolled out to other venues across the capital.

“Being the first of its kind in the region, the programme is the initial step in our new tourism approach - one that puts consumer priorities and concerns at the forefront," said Mr Al Shaiba.

"We will be announcing other initiatives and programmes that were created with the help of the Abu Dhabi government to complement this strategy and ensure the safety of our visitors and residents alike.”

Abu Dhabi is inching back to normal life after the emirate shut all its malls and attractions in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

It has since reopened some attractions with extra precautions to protect the public.

Malls, restaurants, and cafes have also reopened up to 40 per cent capacity, but people over the age of 70 and children under 12 are not permitted to enter.

The age limit was changed last week after previously placing restrictions on people aged 60 and over, as well as children under 12.

The capital's museums and cultural places have also been given permission to reopen at 40 per cent capacity from June 24, with safety measures in place.

Hotels are welcoming guests again but masks and gloves must be worn inside the venue and its facilities.

Travel within the emirate is still restricted by a ban limiting movement between Abu Dhabi's main regions as well as entering and leaving the emirate.

Emiratis and residents can now leave Abu Dhabi but cannot return unless they are issued a permit by police.

Movement between the emirate's regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra) also requires a permit.

The order is in force until June 23, but could be extended.