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The UAE announced that it would remove its mask-wearing rules, according to the country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA).
The new rules will be effective from Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Face mask rules had been in effect for over two and half years.
Masks will still be required in medical facilities and hospitals, mosques, places of worship, and public transport, NCEMA said in a tweet.
Face mask wearing at schools will now also become optional.
Those suspected of infection will still be required to wear a face mask. NCEMA recommends that all people with chronic diseases continue to wear masks.
Distance rules at mosques will be removed.
PCR tests are now only mandatory if symptoms are shown. Those who have mixed with patients already infected with Covid-19 will need to take a PCR test and observe for seven days. Those who have been infected with Covid-19 will need quarantine for five days. Employers will need to implement these rules.
For travel, individual airlines can now decide if they wish to institute mandatory masks on board. The UAE will also lift any requirements to leave the country, with destination countries setting arrival rules. For arrivals, the rules remain unchanged.
The UAE will now also stop publishing figures for daily infections.
Those working in Abu Dhabi will need to obtain a PCR test every 30 days to maintain Al Hosn Green Status, rather than the previous 14 days.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced 355 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 1,025,568. The Ministry added that no Covid-19-related deaths had been recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 2,343.
The first case of Covid-19 in the UAE was detected on 29 January 2020, and the first two deaths were confirmed on March 20 2020.
Less than a week later, on March 26, the UAE effectively shut its borders, suspending all inbound and outbound travel, and the first “lockdown” began a week later. For much of the pandemic, anyone in the UAE was mandated to wear masks in both indoor and outdoor settings, though these restrictions were eased slightly in February with no masks required in outdoor settings.
But the country has been a global leader in its vaccination drive, and by November 2021, 100 per cent of the eligible population had received the vaccine.