Bahrain to close non-essential businesses in coronavirus clampdown

All non-essential business will close on Thursday afternoon. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 25 March 2020

Bahrain to close non-essential businesses in coronavirus clampdown

  • The closure of non-essential businesses will take effect on Thursday evening
  • Businesses can still continue operating via online platforms, deliveries and takeaways

DUBAI: Bahrain has ordered all non-essential businesses to close from Thursday, March 26, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, adding that only hypermarkets, supermarkets, cold stores, bakeries, pharmacies, and banks can remain open.

The directive, issued by the government’s executive committee added that restaurants can continue to operate, but on a takeaway and delivery basis only.

Bahrain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism issued a notice clarifying what is deemed non-essential.

The order requires all non-essential retail and industrial enterprises to close temporarily,  from 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020 until 1900 on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

The order added that all retail and industrial enterprises would reopen open from April 9 to April 23.

But retail and industrial organizations will be allowed to continue business via online platforms and social media

The following types of business are excluded from these measures, and will be allowed to continue to operate as usual:

  • Hypermarkets, supermarkets, cold stores, grocery stores, butcher and fish shops, and bakeries
  • Natural gas and liquid fueling stations
  • Hospitals, medical centers, pharmacies and opticians
  • Banks and currency exchange bureaus
  • Corporate administration offices of companies and organizations that conduct activities without direct engagement with customers
  • Businesses that import, export and distribute goods
  • Garages and repair shops
  • Businesses operating in the construction and maintenance industry
  • Manufacturers


US ambassador says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

Updated 54 min 43 sec ago

US ambassador says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

  • The United States is keen on helping to resolve the oil tanker crisis

RIYADH: The US ambassador to Yemen said Washington is ready to help in solving the crisis of an abandoned oil tanker off Yemen’s coast at risk of exploding. 

Ambassador Christopher Hensel stressed that the United States is keen on helping to resolve the crisis given that it poses a threat.

He also expressed his appreciation to the efforts by the Yemeni government to reach stability in the region, in remarks during a meeting with the Yemeni foriegn minister.  

With 1.1 million barrels of crude on board, the FSO Safer tanker is deteriorating badly and could rupture at any time, with disastrous results for Red Sea marine life, UN and other experts have warned.
The 45-year-old ship is anchored off the port of Hodeidah under the control of the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which initially blocked UN efforts to send a team of experts to assess its condition. Sources on Sunday said the Houthis gave the UN inspectors the green light to inspect the decaying tanker.