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UAE Covid-19 authorities drop use of face masks in many public areas

UAE Covid-19 authorities drop use of face masks in many public areas

Face masks are no longer mandatory in all indoor public places, the UAE’s crisis authority has said.

People will be required to wear masks only in places of worship, hospitals and on public transport from Wednesday, September 28.

The decision was announced in a televised briefing on Monday.

The use of masks in indoor public places has been in effect for two and a half years.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (Ncema) ruling would typically affect only Abu Dhabi — but the other emirates are expected to adopt the decision.

In other key decisions, officials said:

— Schools will not require teachers or pupils to wear face masks

— Covid-19 home isolation period reduced from 10 days to five

— Airlines are to decide on whether or not masks are obligatory

— Abu Dhabi residents will be required to have tests once every 30 days to keep Al Hosn app green. It was every 14 days previously

— Only the person who tests positive for Covid-19 will be required to quarantine, not someone who has been in close contact with them

— No social distancing is required in places of worship

— The number of daily Covid cases will no longer be published by the government

— People will be able to visit malls, supermarkets, hotels, bars and restaurants without being required to wear a mask

Until now, people had to wear a mask until they were seated or eating in a cafe or restaurant.

Face masks have been central to local and international efforts to save lives and reduce infections.

For much of the pandemic, people in the UAE were mandated to wear face coverings in both indoor and outdoor settings.

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