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UAE relaxes COVID-19 precautions; masks no longer required outdoors

A man, wearing a protective face mask, stands inside a dry cleaner in the Emirate city of Dubai. (File/AFP)
A man, wearing a protective face mask, stands inside a dry cleaner in the Emirate city of Dubai. (File/AFP)
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26 Feb 2022 02:02:24 GMT9
26 Feb 2022 02:02:24 GMT9
  • Individuals who have had contact with a person who subsequently tests positive for the virus will no longer have to quarantine
  • The new rules come into effect on Tuesday, March 1
Arab News

LONDON: Authorities in the UAE on Friday announced a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions, as the country continues to move toward the recovery phase of the pandemic. The changes will come into effect on Tuesday, March 1.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, also known as NCEMA, said the wearing of masks outdoors will now be optional, although they remain mandatory in public indoor spaces.

Individuals who have been in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 will no longer need to quarantine. The isolation protocols for those who are infected will not change. Each emirate is free to set the length of the quarantine period that is required for those who test positive, and also whether those who have been in contact with an infected person are required to take a PCR test.

The authority also approved a return to the pre-pandemic time intervals between the call to prayer and the iqaamah, and agreed to allow mosques to make available a limited number of copies of the Qur’an, which must be sterilized after each use. The current requirement for worshipers in mosques and other places of worship to remain at least one meter apart will be maintained.

Fully vaccinated travelers need to provide proof of their vaccination status, while those who are not vaccinated must present a negative result of a PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure.

Similarly, NCEMA said anyone wishing to attend local events, exhibitions or other cultural or social activities must show their “green pass” on the Al-Hosn app as proof of vaccination or, failing that, a negative result of a PCR test taken no more than 96 hours before to the event.

In the economic and tourism sectors, social-distancing requirements have been withdrawn and the authority also announced the resumption of all sports activities for all age groups.

NCEMA said the role and responsibilities of the public are just as important as those of the authorities in handling this new phase of the pandemic. The authority added that a full return to normal daily life requires that everyone continues to adhere to the preventive measures that remain in place.

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