The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has issued a new circular stating a set of specific terms and conditions regarding food trucks operation permits in Abu Dhabi.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has issued a new circular stating a set of specific terms and conditions regarding food trucks operation permits in Abu Dhabi. The new guidelines are part of the current precautionary measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and is being implemented in line with the rules set by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA).

H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said that the circular follows previous circulars issued by the Department as part of its efforts to enhance the service sector’s gradual return to its various activities and serve the community following a long period of closure to stop the spread of COVID-19.

H.E. clarified that ADDED will not allow licensed food trucks to conduct their activities in case all the requirements and instructions stated in the circular are not applied. ADDED’s inspection teams, in cooperation with its strategic partners, will conduct field inspection visits to ensure compliance with the circular.

He said that the terms and conditions mentioned are consistent with the set guidelines allowing restaurants outside shopping malls to resume their operations, which means all food trucks employees should undergo COVID-19 test to ensure that they are free from infection. The circular further stated that operators should identify the total number of employees allowed to work, in addition to applying the required sterilization, constantly implement cleaning procedures, wearing face masks, gloves, and applying social distancing between employees and customers.

ADDED further highlighted in the circular the importance of testing all workers and employees in food trucks for COVID-19 as a major and important condition for resuming their activities. Employees showing any COVID-19 related symptoms should be directed to visit the nearest healthcare centre for examination and treatment, as well as committing to the mentioned protocols, including stopping of operations in case any customer is infected with the virus, in accordance with the circulars issued by relevant authorities.

ADDED also noted that operators must provide hand sanitizers at payment counters and within the food truck. Cleaning and sterilizing the food truck is required as well as implementing frequent cleaning and sterilizing of all surfaces, utensils, tools and equipment during the day. They should also ensure the use of single-use cutlery (dishes, spoons, and cups) and packaging materials.

The Department stipulated in its circular that the number of employees inside food trucks should be reduced to a maximum of two and that food delivery employees must adhere to applying a distance of at least two meters between them during their shifts and when picking up the order and delivering it. They are further obliged to wear face masks and gloves and to change them within prescribed hours.

The circular further underscored that staff should follow good health practices, including avoiding coughing, spitting, and smoking during workhours as well as encourage customers to use card payments. Employees should refrain from dealing with the trucks’ generators, oil change, re-fuelling, or maintenance. Hand sanitization should be continuously done with sterilizers and soap, especially before and after dealing with credit card machines and banknotes.

ADDED further emphasized the need to prevent customers to come near the truck and inside the cooking area, in which they should ensure that social distancing is being practiced and daily check of employee’s body temperature.

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