Bahrain eases restrictions, allows shopping malls to reopen

RetailME Bureau

Bahrain allowed shopping malls and some stores to resume business from Thursday, May 7, while restaurants will stay closed to in-house diners, according to the Health Ministry officials, as the Gulf state eased restrictions intended to curb the spread of COVID -19.

Bahrain closed non-essential shops and businesses since March 26 and barred entry of foreign visitors but did not impose a curfew.

Health Ministry officials told a news conference on May 6 that employees and customers must wear face masks and practice physical distancing. Cinemas, sports facilities, and salons remain closed.

Bahrain now joins other Gulf countries that eased curfews and other social and business restrictions with the start of the holy month of Ramadan two weeks ago.

Following the announcement, Bahrain-based shopping mall developer and operator Seef Properties said it would reopen all its three shopping malls located in the Seef District, Muharraq and Isa Town from May 8.

The Bahraini government also recently announced it would spend $570 million to pay the salaries of 100,000 private-sector employees from April to June. In March, Bahrain said it would help cover the water and electricity bills of both citizens and businesses for three months.