Wearing a facemask is no longer mandatory in most public spaces across the UAE, including educational institutions.
This was announced during the UAE government's special COVID-19 media briefing on Monday.
It's still mandatory to wear a mask in medical facilities, places of worship and public transportation.
All food service providers and confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 must also do the same.
The changes will come into effect on Wednesday, September 28.
Meanwhile, the Green Pass system on Al Hosn app remains in place but its validity has been changed to 30 days for those vaccinated and seven days for the unvaccinated.
As per the latest rules, the isolation period for those infected with COVID-19 has been reduced to five days, while close contacts need to get tested only if they have symptoms.
Other changes include:
- Social distancing will not be required in places of worship.
- Daily COVID-19 case numbers will no longer be announced by the government. COVID-related data and other updates will be published on the official websites of the Ministry of Health & Prevention, NCEMA and the Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Centre.
- It will be up to the airlines to decide whether to enforce the mask on board aircraft.
The decision to ease restrictions comes following a sharp drop in daily infections in recent weeks and almost zero deaths recorded for nearly three months.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) said the updated procedures are a result of continuous and active monitoring of the COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation rates across the Emirates.
#NCEMA: Concerning the green pass system, it has been updated to require a mandatory regular checkup for vaccinated people and those given exemptions.— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 26, 2022
#NCEMA: We confirm that the updated procedures constitute a preliminary phase for loosening restrictions based on following procedures, and updates will be announced regularly. The #UAE’s community health and safety is a priority.— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 26, 2022
#NCEMA: During our media briefing today, we announce the loosening of COVID-19-related restrictions nationwide, as well as the updates to all sectors, which will be in force from 28th September, 2022.— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 26, 2022