Stock Dubai mall shopping
Stock Dubai mall shopping Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Holed up at home for too long? Perhaps a quick trip to the mall is just what you are craving. While retail therapy can truly help shoo away the pandemic stress for a while, there are some steps that shoppers should bear in mind to ensure that the shopping trip is not just therapeutic for them, but also does not put other shoppers at risk.

So, apart from being armed with your mask and hand sanitiser, here is some basic etiquette that you can follow while spending some time at the mall to ensure public health and safety.

Don’t visit the mall if you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms

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Avoid stepping out if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Image Credit: Stock image

Even if you are not running a temperature, visiting the mall – or any other public place – with a runny nose or an itchy throat is highly discouraged. Not only will it make it harder for you to maintain personal hygiene measures that are recommended during COVID-19, you run the risk of infecting others.

Always have your mask on – the right way

Stock shopping Dubai mall of the emirates
Shoppers at Mall Of The Emirates , Dubai. Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

How often have you seen a fellow shopper pulling the mask right under their nose or have it dangling around their neck while they are on the phone? It is essential that you wear the mask at all times while at the mall, ensuring your nose mouth and chin are properly covered.

Even children over two years old should be encouraged to wear a mask. /parenting/child-health/children-over-two-years-old-should-wear-face-masks--uae-official-1.1596516572156

If you do happen to visit the mall with your children, try to plan your trip in a way that children don’t get restless and find it harder to follow the precautions like keeping their mask on, or running into other visitors while being playful.

Wear disposable gloves, when possible.

Don’t go in a group

Big gatherings are still not permitted and those not maintaining physical distance face stiff fines. So, you still cannot meet a big group of friends or colleagues. Tables, too, have a limit on how many people can be seated. A maximum of five members can be seated on a table at social gatherings, according to DHA guidelines. Physical distance of two metres should be maintained at all times.

Look for the social distancing stickers

Stock shopping Dubai mall
Shoppers at the Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, Dubai Aquarium and Dubai Ice Rink . Photo Clint Egbert/Gulf News Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Malls have put in place social distancing stickers, whether in elevators or at the check-out counters of shops. Make sure you are always maintaining the recommended physical distance, especially in queues or in busy passageways.

Entrance and exit gates have also been separated, in line with the guidelines issued by the ͵羺’s authorities.

How to use the elevator

DHA shared these general tips for using elevators:

1. Maximum of three people should be in the elevator.

2. Maintain physical distancing and avoid facing one another.

3. Don’t use the elevator if you notice someone has symptoms.

4. Wash your hands after using the elevator.

5. Wear a face mask at all times.

6. Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.

Escalator use

Stock shopping Dubai mall of the emirates
Shoppers at Mall Of The Emirates , Dubai. Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Escalators, too, need to be used with extra precaution. Maintain a physical distance of two metres from others.

Avoid touching the handrails and if you do touch them, disinfect your hands immediately afterwards.

Be patient and try not to walk past others in a hurry, as you would not be able to maintain the recommended social distance.

Fitting rooms

While malls have begun allowing the use of changing rooms, it is important to use them with care. Avoid taking too many clothes to try on, and if possible wear gloves while handling clothes.

Before you enter the changing room, wash or disinfect your hands. Be courteous to other shoppers and avoid spending longer than necessary to facilitate the shopping experience for everyone.

Restrooms

While facilities management teams at malls follow strict disinfection and cleaning protocols, ensuring toilets are disinfected after each use, there are some steps that you can take as well, to ensure public health and safety.

These are some of the tips that experts shared with Gulf News previously:

1. Don’t spend longer than necessary when using the restroom.

2. Don’t flush with the toilet lid up.

3. Always flush the toilet after use.

4. Do not use cell phones in the cubicle.

5. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds after use.

6. Avoid needlessly touching surfaces.