His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, today chaired a meeting of the Government Executive Committee.
HRH the Crown Prince underscored the progress made in efforts to monitor and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), noting that these efforts are underpinned by the commitment of citizens and residents to social responsibility, under the leadership of HM King Hamad.
HRH the Crown Prince went on to commend the efforts of citizens, residents and visitors, underlining the national responsibility that is centred on all to combat this virus, which does not discriminate between anyone.
HRH added that citizens who actively follow precautionary measures are the Kingdom’s greatest ally against Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Following 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 tomorrow, 18 March:
All public and private entities shall continue to function while encouraging remote working when possible
Retail and grocery stores, and shopping complexes shall operate within normal hours, taking into consideration the Ministry of Health's social distancing recommendations
The activities of all restaurants, tourist facilities and places for serving food and beverages are limited to external orders and delivery
Movie theatres to be closed
All commercial sports gymnasiums, fitness studios, swimming pools and recreational activities to be closed
Limiting the services offered by Shisha cafes to takeout and delivery of food and beverages only
Designating the first hour of grocery store openings for the elderly and pregnant women to reduce interactions
Limiting public gatherings to 20 people or fewer and commit to staying at home as much as possible, and go out for necessity only
Encouraging citizens and residents to avoid non-essential travel abroad
Testing all incoming passengers and obliging them to under-go mandatory 14 day self-isolation
It was also decided, until further notice, to suspend 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.
These guidelines include washing hands thoroughly with soap, refraining from close interactions, and covering the mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing.
The Government Executive Committee affirmed that these are precautionary measures introduced to safeguard well-being of citizens and residents, noting the wide-ranging contributions of Team Bahrain.