After nearly two-and-a-half years of strict Covid-19 rules and precautionary measures, the UAE government on Sunday announced the lifting of all restrictions it has put in place to keep the country and its residents safe during the pandemic.
Rules on wearing masks have been further eased. Health officials announced that masks will be optional in all open and closed facilities, including places of worship and mosques. However, it will be mandatory to wear masks in health facilities and centres for people of determination. Praying on personal mats will be optional at mosques and praying facilities.
A government spokesperson announced in a virtual briefing the second phase of the easing of restrictions. The official noted that the second phase of relaxations have been approved after carefully studying the epidemiological situation in the country while monitoring occupancy rates in hospitals and intensive care for Covid-19 infected cases, which have consistently dipped below 300 now.
“We announce the lifting of all restrictions and precautionary measures related to Covid-19. Wearing masks will be optional in all open and closed facilities, including places of worship and mosques, except for health facilities and centres for people of determination, where it will be mandatory,” the official said and pointed out that praying on personal mats will be optional at mosques and praying facilities.
The new relaxations will be activated at 6am on Monday, November 7.
The Al Hosn application will now be limited to a proof of vaccination, and for PCR test results inside and outside the country upon request. The Green Pass on the Al Hosn app will therefore not be required to enter public facilities and sites.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced that the five-day isolation period for positive cases would remain in place, and that Covid-19 PCR testing and health facilities will still continue to operate.
Organising bodies for sporting events and activities at the national and local levels may request pre-examinations or vaccination certificates, according to the type or importance of the activity and its effectiveness.
With stringent measures to combat the pandemic, the official said, the UAE “assumed a high position and became an exceptional global model, as it was one of the first countries to successfully contain challenges with flexibility, transparency and professionalism.”
Announcing a set of measures for the health sector, the official said that “Covid-19 will be included in ‘The National Active Monitoring Programme for Influenza and Acute Respiratory Diseases’. Scientific research and genetic studies will also be conducted on bacterial and viral diseases, as well as vigilant monitoring and follow-up to enhance and develop the response capabilities of health authorities for any future emergency events.”
The UAE government has made unremitting efforts during the last period to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in increased awareness on how to deal with epidemics and diseases. The health sector, in coordination and cooperation with concerned authorities, intensified its efforts to deal with the health crisis, stemming from the belief that society’s health is a top priority of the wise leadership.
“We affirm that the health sector will continue to monitor the situation and implement active monitoring in all regions of the country.”
In the first phase of the easing of Covid-19 mandates on September 28, authorities had eased Covid-19 rules, making the wearing of masks optional in most public places except hospitals and medical facilities, places of worship, on public transport, and for food service providers.