Wed, 18 March 2020
His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, yesterday chaired a meeting of the Government Executive Committee.
HRH the Crown Prince highlighted the progress made in efforts to monitor and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), noting that these efforts are supported by the commitment of citizens and residents to social responsibility, under the leadership of HM King Hamad.
HRH the Crown Prince commended the efforts of citizens, residents and visitors, underlining the national responsibility that is centred on all to combat this virus. HRH added that citizens who actively follow precautionary measures are the Kingdom’s greatest ally against Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Following the consideration of a report submitted by the National Medical Task Force to Combat the Coronavirus, headed by HE Lieutenant-General Dr. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Health, the following decisions were taken, effective from today, March 18:
1) All public and private entities shall continue to function while encouraging remote working when possible.
2) Retail outlets, grocery stores and supermarkets, and shopping complexes shall operate within normal hours, taking into consideration the Ministry of Health's social distancing recommendations.
3) Restaurants, tourist facilities and other Food and Beverage outlets are limited to takeaway and delivery outlets.
4) Movie theatres to be closed.
5) All commercial sports gymnasiums, fitness studios, swimming pools and recreational activities to be closed.
6) Shisha cafes will only be permitted to provide takeaway and delivery of food and beverages only. No shisha will be permitted at this time.
7) The first hour of grocery store openings will be solely for the elderly and pregnant women to reduce interactions.
8) Public gatherings will be limited to 20 people or fewer. The public is encouraged to commit to staying at home as much as possible, and go out for necessity only.
9) Citizens and residents are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel abroad.
10) All incoming passengers will be tested for COVID-19 and will have to under-go a mandatory 14 day self-isolation at their place of residence.
11) Suspending studying in public and private schools, higher education institutions, and kindergartens. Administrative and educational professionals will continue to work but are encouraged to work remotely whenever possible. The Ministry of Education has been directed to take all necessary measures to mitigate against impact on the education process where possible.
The National Medical Task Force to Combat the Coronavirus continues to encourage compliance with all health guidelines issued which include washing hands thoroughly with soap, refraining from close interactions, and covering the mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing.