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Restaurants welcome diners back with COVID-19 measures in place

Santhosh Chandran
Restaurants in Qatar, except those functioning inside shopping malls, have started welcoming diners following further easing of COVID-19 protocols.
At present, diners are allowed in restaurants through reservations only to avoid crowding. Authorities have issued strict guidelines for restaurants, including for maintaining adequate distance between tables and about the procedures to be followed when receiving guests.
The Supreme Committee for Crisis Management had earlier permitted restaurants, except those inside shopping malls, to offer dining facility as part of the third phase of lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. A senior official at a restaurant in Doha said, “We have opened our restaurant to guests for in-house dining after meeting all the mandatory requirements and following inspections by the authorities.”
The fourth phase of easing restrictions, expected next month, will see the remaining restaurants and eateries welcoming guests for in-house dining. Public transport networks, including public buses, are also expected to become operational in the fourth phase, bringing more customers to restaurants and eateries, helping them return to normal business.
Informed sources at Mowasalat, the public transport company which operates public buses, said the company will resume public bus service in the fourth phase, after receiving approval from the authorities concerned. “The announcement in this regard will be made by the authorities concerned on time,” the sources told Qatar Tribune.
An official of a restaurant chain in Al Wakra said, “We are planning to open our restaurants in the fourth phase of lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in September, and we are keeping in touch with our customers through ‘takeaways’ for the time being.”
According to the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, in the fourth phase, gatherings such as weddings will be allowed, in addition to the opening of mosques at full capacity and resumption of normal Friday prayers. Business gatherings such as exhibitions, conferences, recreational gatherings, theatres and cinemas will also be allowed in this stage.