Dubai Municipality fines 133 cafes and closes 8 since restarting Shisha
Dubai Municipality revealed that it has issued fines to 133 cafes and closed eight due to violations, the most prominent of which was related to failure to adhere to precautionary measures to confront Covid-19, and the use of expired honeyed tobacco products, as well as allowing persons under 18, ever since they were allowed to reopen places for smoking and shisha, starting from July 18.
The Municipality clarified that since the reopening of places designated for smoking in cafes, and allowing smoking Shisha, the Municipality has been keen to intensify its inspection campaigns and visits to ensure the highest level of compliance, as 1,228 inspection visits were carried out, resulting in finding that the compliance rate has reached 89%.
The Municipality inspectors detected a set of violations committed by cafes during the past period, such as failure to adhere to the precautionary measures related to confronting Corona, especially taking into account keeping the distance between people, or the distance between tables, and allowing overcrowding inside the cafes, as well as non-compliance with hygiene practices, such as more than one person sharing a Shisha, and the use of multiple-use pipes instead of single-use.
The list of violations also included use of expired honeyed tobacco products, providing Shisha service without permit or an expired permit, and some of them ignoring the requirements for proper ventilation inside the cafes, and the failure to operate air conditioning systems, as well as monitoring the presence of persons under the age of 18 years inside the smoking areas in violation of the law.
The Municipality affirmed that it obligated all cafes in the Emirate of Dubai to take precautionary measures that should be followed during the stage of reopening the places designated for smoking and places for serving Shishas, starting from last July 18, the most prominent of which is the commitment of the Shisha service employees to wash hands before and after providing the service, and to measure the temperature of the employees, workers, and visitors before entering the facility and not allowing those who show symptoms of temperature above 37.5 to enter the site. The facility’s management should allocate an isolation room, and establish procedures for dealing with suspected or confirmed cases of Covid 19, in addition to disinfection procedures, according to the directives of Dubai Municipality and Dubai Health Authority. All parts of the Shisha, including pipes, must be cleaned and disinfected before and after each user.
The Municipality stressed the need to use single-use Shisha pipes only, and the Shisha must be washed and disinfected deeply and the water used must be changed after each user, and it is not allowed to test the Shisha by employees before offering to the customer, and the periodicity of hygiene and disinfection must be increased in smoking areas.
The list of requirements also included the necessity to provide containers for polluted waste at all main entrances and in common areas for medical waste such as masks and gloves, and to remove them frequently. Hand sanitizers must be provided in different areas of the cafe, and should provide ventilation systems and air purification according to Dubai Municipality requirements.
The cafes are also allowed to provide valet parking services while ensuring that the preventive measures specified for this service are followed. It should also be ensured that a safe physical distance of two meters is maintained throughout the café, restaurant or facility. It is needed to maintain a distance of two meters between each table and to limit maximum five seats per table in the smoking area.
Dubai Municipality emphasized the necessity to provide clear ground signs and signboards that clearly indicate physical distances, and to allocate an area of four square meters for each person inside the smoking area. Gatherings or parties are not allowed, and groups of more than five people are not allowed to be in the smoking area.
The precautionary measures include not allowing customers to be in the smoking area for more than three hours, and ensuring that visitors sterilize their hands upon arrival, and using sanitized plastic plates, cups, or packages or that can be disposed of and individually wrapped.
The Municipality also called for encouraging the use of electronic payment methods, and also publishing precautionary measures and requirements among employees and visitors using various communication methods, and ensuring that training is provided to Shisha serving employees to maintain preventive disinfection.