Popular public beach closes | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Popular public beach closes

TDT | Manama

A popular beach has closed after large crowds turned up in recent days, raising concerns for health and safety amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Mumtalakat’s real estate investment arm Edamah announced last night that following record numbers at Bilaj Aljazayer beach over the weekend, it has resolved to close the beach for the time being, pending more rigorous protocols with the relevant parties.

The decision was taken in close coordination with the Southern Governorate and the Ministry of Interior. According to a statement issued by Edamah, it is to “better limit the numbers and tighten boundary security to dissuade people who are not complying with the safety, social distancing and sanitisation protocols already in place at the beach.”

The statement added : “Edamah is committed to the physical and mental wellbeing of society, greatly enhanced by a peaceful beach experience, and is keen to re-open the facility upon agreement of the enhanced policies and procedures between the concerned parties.”

Edamah CEO Amin Alarrayed said: “We are determined that guests to the beach have a safe and enjoyable experience whilst following nation-wide protocols that keep them and their families safe, by observing the simple rules as outlined by the government.

“Our close working relationship with the Southern Governorate will hasten implementation of the new policies and it is with thanks to His Excellency the Governor that we look forward to re-opening Bilaj Aljazayer soon.”

In response to the large numbers of people gathering at Bilaj Aljazayer beach, where many members of the public did not comply with the required social distancing measures, a meeting was held yesterday between Alarrayed and representatives from the Southern Governorate security directorate.

Alarrayed added: “With a shortage of public beaches on the Island, our vision with one of Bahrain’s oldest landmarks was to transform the beach into a prime and pristine destination, in order to create a wholesome public space that is safe for the entire community to enjoy.

“For this reason, we allowed Bilaj Aljazayer to remain open over the Eid holiday, with strict protocols and precautionary measures put into place. “Leaflets with the COVID-19 regulations were distributed to every entrant of the beach, and it is unfortunate that amongst the visitors, on this occasion, some people did not respect the rules; however, we are determined that people, who do respect the tighter protocols, once in place, will again have a beautiful destination that they can enjoy in safety