Protocols for restaurants and cafes
Notice from Ministry of Interior: This will be implemented starting at 10:00 P.M, Thursday, 22 Jumada II 1442 AH, corresponding to February 04, 2021.
- The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing, and supervisory authorities and others to intensify the tighten control over restaurants and cafes to ensure the implementation of precautionary measures, and to emphasize restaurants and cafes to activate the use of surveillance cameras.
- set up warning panels that indicate that the place is monitored with cameras to ensure the extent of compliance with the precautionary measures and health protocols.
- Suspending the provision of dining services in restaurants, cafes and the like, and limiting it to providing external requests for a period of (10) days, that may be extended, without allowing any gathering that results from those external requests.
- The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing will close the establishment that violates this for a period (24) hours, and (48) hours if the violation is repeated for the first time, one week if the violation is repeated for the second time,
- two weeks if the violation is repeated for the third time, one month if the violation is repeated for the fourth time and more, without prejudice to the application of any other prescribed penalty for those violations.
- Eating is allowed inside restaurants.
- Working hours shall be same as before the precautionary measures, except if there are any new regulations in this regard.
- Ban the provision of hookah and waterpipe.
- It is allowed to open children’s playing area for entertainment in restaurants if the area is spacious enough to apply social distancing. Emphasize the necessity of adhering to the implementation of protocols for entertainment places in terms of reducing capacity, disinfecting games, preventing crowding, etc.
Hygiene and health
- A fabric mask or what covers the nose and mouth must be worn at all times by the customers inside food or beverage serving facilities, unless the person is eating or drinking in the designated place.
- All employees in restaurants are obligated to cover the nose and mouth with the masks at all times.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be provided wherever food is served in a visible and easily accessible place.
- Emphasize washing hands routinely and repeatedly for at least 40 seconds during work shifts, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for a period of no less than 20 seconds in the absence of soap and water, especially at the following times:
- Before starting food preparation.
- Before serving food to customers.
- After using the toilet.
- After coming in contact with body fluids and secretions.
- After direct contact with co-workers or customers.
- After coming in contact with potentially contaminated items (such as gloves, clothing, masks, and garbage).
- Immediately after removing gloves or masks.
- It is allowed to use food menus (whether plastic, paper or electronic touch screens) or use barcode scanners to obtain food menu via smart phones in order to reduce touching paper or electronic touch screens by customers.
- Clean utensils well and make sure to disinfect them with an approved disinfectant and dry them before reusing them for serving or cooking food.
- In regard to buffets, items that have a possibility of frequent contact such as food container covers, spoons, tongs should be eliminated, or assign a person to be in charge of opening covers and distributing food to costumers, provided that she/he adheres to wearing personal protection equipment designated for professionals such as masks and gloves. Costumers must adhere to social distancing when waiting in the buffet line.
- Sanitize surfaces that people frequently touch (such as door handles, water taps, public seats, etc.). Apply solutions that limit contact as much as possible (such as making them work by sensing or replacing them in ways that do not require direct contact).
- It is allowed to use tablecloths with an emphasis on changing and cleaning them after each use.
- Surfaces must be disinfected frequently with disinfectants approved by the Food and Drug Authority (sodium hypochlorite such as chlorine disinfectant or the like).
- Clean surfaces at first by removing dirt with a brush and then using water and soap or detergent.
- Provide personal protection equipment for employees such as fabric masks or what covers the nose and mouth, hair nets and single-use gowns.
- Employees who work in high-risk departments such as cooking, food production and beverages preparation, should wear personal protective equipment routinely and change them frequently.
- Antiseptic solutions should be prepared and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Emphasize following the manufacturer’s Instructions to ensure the safety and health of disinfection employees, use of personal protective equipment, and avoid mixing different chemical disinfectants together.
- Ensure that the hand sanitizer contains 60-80% of alcohol and meets the requirements of the Food and Drug Authority.
- Paper tissue should be distributed and placed at visible places.
- Clean and disinfect toilets daily, ensure good ventilation and reduce the temperature in them. Keep a schedule of cleaning and disinfecting times.
- Air filters for ventilators, especially air conditioners, must be cleaned or changed periodically.
- Provide no-touch waste bins. Waste must be disposed of continually.
Social distancing and remote work
- Apply social distancing in the restaurant (between tables, places of receiving orders, and waiting places) to ensure a distance of one and a half meters between individuals. Family members should be considered as one individual, and social distancing is not required between them.
- Establish a mechanism to manage the queue to prevent customers from crowding at the entrance to restaurants, cafes or waiting areas, using pre-booking electronic applications or by phone and waiting in the car.
- Redistribute food preparation and processing places to ensure the application of social distancing, or place a barrier between food workers facing each other.
- Reduce the number of employees in food preparation areas and prevent overcrowding.
- Organize the work of employees into groups in the form of shifts, to reduce direct contact between groups.
- Prevent crowding in toilets and ablution sinks by placing floor stickers or disabling a number of toilets or sinks to ensure a safe distance of one and a half meters between each person.
- Prevent crowding at entrances and exits.
- Crowding must be prevented at the elevators and stairs by placing floor stickers to ensure social distancing of no less than one and a half meters.
- Arrange the tables where food or drink are served in a way that ensure a distance of not less than 3 meters between each table in the same hall ( if there are more than one hall they should be completely separated), in case it is not possible to apply 3 meters space between tables it must be prohibited to serve the food inside restaurants.
- The capacity of elevators must be reduced, and floor stickers should be placed to ensure social distancing of at least one and a half meters between individuals.
- Groups of no more than 5 people can sit together on the same table.
- Ensure that CCTV surveillance cameras are activated and that they are covered all areas of the restaurant, cafes and the like, especially table areas, the accounting area. Keep the recording for a minimum of three days, and allow the government monitoring teams to access to them at any time to ensure the implementation of preventive measures.
- It is prohibited to share one table for more than one group.
- Establish a checkpoint at all entrances that includes taking the temperature with a device approved by the Food and Drug Authority.
- Train staff at checkpoints on the method of examination and the use of a temperature measuring device.
- check the temperature of all those in charge of providing food and beverage services to the costumers and all employees daily, before the start of the work period. Write the temperature and contact information and save it in a dedicated record.
- check temperatures of customers before they are allowed into the restaurant or the cafe.
- Any employee responsible for providing food and beverage services with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat) must be prevented from working or entering the facility until the symptoms stop, according to the attending physician’s report.
- Prevent customers who have a high temperature or respiratory symptoms from entering the restaurant or the cafe.
- If there is housing for workers who provide food services, Prepare an isolation room for suspected cases at the residence, until they are contacted by the competent authorities. (Please review the health requirements guide for workers’ accommodations to combat Covid-19).
- communication channels should be established for those in charge of food services to report violations of requirements in order to avoid them.
- With the continuous screening and isolation procedures that occur according to the approved protocols, (Tawakkalna) application is used to ensure the employee’s health status concerning COVID-19 disease. If the employee’s status is positive or in contact with a positive case, all this will appear at the application, will not be allowed to enter the workplace.
- The employee can return to work after he completely recovers and checking that by updating his status in Tawakkalna application.
- Report cases among workers who have a high temperature or respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath), and are suspected of having COVID-19. Forbid them from entering the facility. Register their data and contact numbers, and call 937 immediately to obtain the directions required to refer them to hospital.
- If a confirmed infection is registered among workers, the protocols approved by the Saudi Center for Disease Protection and Control and the Ministry of Health must be applied.
- Place posters at the entrance to restaurants and cafes asking customers not to enter the place if they have respiratory symptoms similar to COVID-19.
- Employees in charge of providing food and beverage services must be educated about the symptoms of the disease, means of disease transmission and its dangers. They must be educated to avoid going to work in case they experienced any respiratory symptoms (coughing or shortness of breath) or a high temperature.
- Educate employees and food service providers about the need to disclose any respiratory symptoms (coughing or shortness of breath) or high temperature by calling 937 and following the home isolation instructions.
- Distribute awareness brochures in all restaurants and cafes at visible places, including the following:
- Methods of disease transmission and prevention.
- Raise awareness of washing hands and avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth before washing hands, and urge attention to personal and health care.
- Follow the etiquette of sneezing and coughing (use a tissue and dispose it as soon as possible, use the elbow by bending the arm).
- Continuous reminder of the importance of adhering to the safety instructions, protection from disease, and limit costumers overcrowding in the facility.
- Educate and urge elderly customers and those with chronic diseases to stay home, and postpone visiting restaurants and cafes.
- Restaurants and cafes should place a panel that includes a statement of the violation and the method for reporting them.
- Assign employees responsible for organizing the use of elevators and stairs.