Dubai updates Covid-19 rules for restaurant diners

Dubai Municipality guidelines give eateries the option to use separators in place of physical distancing for tables

Restaurants in Dubai must place tables 2m apart and/or use dividers. Courtesy: Nobu Dubai
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Diners at Dubai restaurants will be limited to eight per table under regulations designed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

As part of the updated rules, restaurants have also been given the option to use dividers instead of placing tables 2m apart, a requirement that has been in force since March.

The Dubai Municipality regulations say tables that seat between five and eight people should not be placed next to one that which could accommodate a similar sized group.

But if they are placed side by side, plexiglass or another type of divider should be used in addition from keeping a 2m distance between them.

“[The] number of individuals who can be on a table is capped at eight per table,” said the note.

“Tables that can accommodate large groups [five to eight] should not be adjacent to other tables that take the same number of individuals.

“If large tables that [are] used for seating two different groups, it is recommended to use separators in addition to ensuring 2m distancing between the two groups.”

The rules also apply to food courts.

While eateries should “where possible” space furniture out to comply with the 2m social distancing guideline, they are not limited to it.

“Establishments can also use physical separators instead of distancing measures,” said the note.

Physical distancing must also be maintained while customers wait or queue to avoid crowding.

The facility should also have “clear floor markings and signage that indicate social distancing clearly,” it added.

Dubai has been cracking down on retailers, hotels and restaurants which violate rules designed to limit the spread of the virus.

This month, authorities closed a restaurant on Bluewaters Island after it failed to enforce social distancing to protect diners from Covid-19.

Dubai Police have also issued thousands of warnings and fines against individuals for flouting precautions.

They include two celebrities who were each fined Dh10,000 for organising house parties. Their guests were fined Dh5,000 each.