Watch: Dubai students throw masks in the air to celebrate easing of Covid rules

One kindergartener thought face masks were part of his uniform, until a teacher explained the new guidelines. Here's how Day 1 of eased Covid rules went across UAE



Screengrab from a Twitter video
Screengrab from a Twitter video
by

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 28 Sep 2022, 6:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 30 Sep 2022, 5:10 PM

For many students in the UAE, today marked the first day they went to school without a mask. These are students born in the Covid-19 era, for whom face mask rules have been in place ever since they set foot in a classroom.

One school in Dubai hosted a special ‘ceremony’ that saw students take off their masks and throw them in the air — graduation-cap style. Have a look:

Dubai’s education regulator, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), called the celebration a “super creative idea” on Twitter.

Though face masks are now optional in classrooms and on campuses, many schools in the country have encouraged their students and teachers to continue with the practice, if they wish to do so.

'I thought masks were part of uniform'

Kindergartener Abubakar Akram, who started school for the first time this year, thought face masks were part of everybody's uniform.

“Then, my teacher explained to me why we were wearing masks and that, now, we are no longer required to wear one in class,” said Abubakar, a student of Our Own School.

Here's how the 'new day' started for a number of youngsters at Pace British School, Sharjah:

Photo by Shihab
Photo by Shihab

Mishkah Maryam, another KG2 student in Dubai, was thrilled to see her friends' faces "for the first time ever".

"One of my friends wore the mask initially but removed it after some time," she said.

Sayed Rayid, a seventh-grader at GEMS Wellington School, couldn't help but remember how he used to have trouble identifying his friends because of face masks. "Finally, this confusion is over,” said Sayed.

Day 1 of eased Covid rules across the city

For residents who went shopping on Wednesday, the experience almost felt like taking a step back in pre-Covid time.

Here are some residents at City Centre Mirdif:

Photo by Shihab
Photo by Shihab

Across the UAE, mask-wearing has been made optional in public spaces, with restrictions in some areas.

At mosques, scenes were quite different from how they looked in the last two and half years.

Social distance stickers were removed in the masjids and worshippers were able to offer to pray in congregration without the one-metre gaps.

Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad

Despite the relaxation of rules, the faithful remained mindful about following other Covid protocols. They carried their own prayer mats and still wore their face masks.

Places of worship are among the three areas where mask-wearing is still mandatory. The other places are medical facilities and public transport means like buses and the Metro.

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