MOCI asks still open shops to limit entry of customers

Oman Monday 23/March/2020 18:20 PM
By: Times News Service
MOCI asks still open shops to limit entry of customers

Muscat: Oman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has asked those shops that are still open to let only a few customers into their shop at a time, to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The governing bodies of Oman have taken strict measures to ensure the safety of the people living in the country. Therefore, a ministerial decision, based on the decision of the Supreme Committee to deal with COVID-19, was issued to halt the operation of markets in commercial complexes excluding food and consumer product shops, pharmacies, clinics and optical stores.

A statement from MOCI “urged commercial centres and shops to organise the shopping process for consumers to avoid crowds or high volumes of movement of people, through taking the following precautions: organise the process of entry in groups, leave a two-metre physical distancing between one consumer and another at the counter area, and disinfect and sterilise shopping carts, hand rails, and other high-touch common areas, as well as providing consumers with sterlisers.

“The Ministry of Commerce and Industry urges consumers to adhere to these procedures and avoid shopping in groups and during peak periods,” added the statement. “This is usually from 7pm to 10pm. The ministry also urges consumers to shop online or use grocery delivery services, only purchase necessary items, and not hoard products.”

Those who do not comply with the instructions to shut down markets will have to pay a fine of up to OMR1,000, the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources has said. Keeping in mind all the precautions laid down by the governing bodies of the Sultanate, a lot of shop owners have taken it upon themselves to abide by the instructions for safety.

Many shops in the country, such as money exchange houses, jewellery and garment stores, and electronic goods vendors, among others, have been completely shut down to avoid the spread of the virus. Some shop owners have temporarily closed their business for the safety of their employees. All the public areas including parks, cinema halls, malls, events and wedding halls have also been closed until further notice.