UAE eases Covid rules: 6 changes you need to know
New guidelines about wearing masks, social distancing, PCR tests and more explained
Most Covid rules have been relaxed in the UAE, with the government announcing sweeping changes to precautionary measures that have been in place for nearly two-and-a-half years. The new rules will come into force from Wednesday, September 28.
A government spokesperson applauded residents’ commitment to the rules, highlighting how they have helped the country stabilise the Covid situation. Daily infections continue to decline and deaths caused by the virus remain virtually zero.
"Despite the stability of the situation, the Covid-19 virus is still present among us. The next stage requires us to put public health at the very top of our priority list,” the spokesperson cautioned.
Coincidentally, the relaxed rules come on the 1,000th day since the first Covid-19 case was reported to the World Health Organisation.
Here is the full list of changes:
— Mask rules
- Masks have been made optional in most public areas, including schools.
- They remain mandatory in mosques, places of worship, medical facilities and public transportation means.
- They are mandatory for Covid patients and suspected cases.
- They are recommended for the elderly, those with chronic diseases and people of determination.
- Food service providers must be masked.
- Mask wearing inside flights is no longer a governmental requirement, and it’s left to airlines to enforce it onboard.
- For those flying out of the UAE, Covid rules at the destination country will apply.
— Isolation for Covid patients; PCR test rules for close contacts
- Infected patients need to isolate for just five days.
- Close contacts need to take a PCR test only if they have Covid-19 symptoms.
- PCR tests are recommended for close contacts who are from the vulnerable categories, including the elderly and people of determination.
— Mosques and places of worship
- Mandatory social distancing between worshippers is no longer required.
- Masks remain compulsory.
- Worshippers at mosques must bring their own prayer mats.
— Green Pass on Al Hosn app
- Validity increased from 14 days to 30 for vaccinated individuals. This means the pass will remain green for 30 days after a negative PCR test.
- Unvaccinated people need to get a PCR test every seven days to retain the pass.
- Pass is mandatory for entry to some public places in Abu Dhabi and federal government offices.
— Daily announcements of Covid cases to stop
- The government will no longer announce the number of cases daily. Instead, the figures on official websites will be updated.