Covid-19: Masks not mandatory on board all 4 UAE airlines except to some destinations

Emirates, Etihad, Air Arabia and flydubai confirm that face covering is optional as rules are eased


Sahim Salim

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Published: Tue 27 Sep 2022, 4:47 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Sep 2022, 6:48 PM

Mask wearing on Emirates, Etihad and flydubai flights is not a mandatory requirement for passengers anymore, the UAE-based airlines have confirmed.

"Wearing a face mask is optional in the UAE and on Emirates flights. If you are travelling from or transiting through Dubai International, the mask rules of your destination will apply throughout your journey," Emirates said on its website.

This means that if a passenger's destination requires masks to be worn, the airline will implement the rule.

Etihad Airways, too, has relaxed its rules around masks on board, the airline said in a statement.

"Masks are optional and will only be required for passengers flying to China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Philippines, South Korea, Seychelles or *Canada (*until 30 September only)," it said.

A spokesperson for budget carrier flydubai told Khaleej Times that it has updated its Covid-19 protocols following the directives issued by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA).

"Effective from September 28, 2022, face masks will be optional for passengers travelling to Dubai. Passengers travelling from or transiting through Dubai will be requested to wear a face mask if it is required at their final destination," the spokesperson said.

The move came after authorities in the UAE eased most Covid safety rules. Mask-wearing inside flights is no longer a requirement, but airlines can enforce the rule if they deem it necessary.

The requirement for pre-departure testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers will be determined based on the requirements of their destinations, a government spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Aircrafts operated by UAE airlines are regularly disinfected, and advanced HEPA filters remove most viruses, germs and allergens.

As part of sweeping changes announced to Covid safety measures, mask wearing has been made optional in all public spaces in the UAE, except medical facilities, mosques and public transportation means. The isolation period for Covid-positive cases has been halved to five days. Social distancing at mosques has been removed, and the validity of the Green Pass on Al Hosn app increased to 30 days.


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