After more than 2 years since detecting its first ever COVID-19 case, confirmed on January 29, 2020, and shutting down its border by March of the same year, the UAE is finally lifting all of its precautionary measures for the coronavirus, as announced by the National Emergency and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).
“Last September, we announced several measures to ease restrictions related to COVID-19. Today, we announce the second phase of the easing of restrictions, after studying the epidemiological situation in the country while monitoring occupancy rates in hospitals and intensive care for COVID-19 cases,” said Dr. Al Dhaheri, official Spokesperson of NCEMA.
Here’s a breakdown of the major changes to the UAE’s covid regulations according to the Nov. 6 briefing:
- Wearing masks is optional in indoor and outdoor establishments.
- Masks are still mandatory in health-related facilities (hospitals, treatment centers, etc.)
- Use of personal prayer mat is optional at mosque.
The Al Hosn App, widely required by local citizens and international visitors to display proof of their COVID-19 status, “will be limited to proof of vaccination certificates test results inside and outside the country upon request. Thus, green pass is not required to enter public facilities and sites,” stated Dr. Al Dhaheri.
Furthermore, despite the changes, certain sectors will have the right to request individual’s covid status, and some rules previously set in place will be retained.
Organizing bodies of both local and national sports leagues and tournaments across the UAE, for instance, will be able to request pre-examinations and vaccination certificates for participation in activities.
Those that receive a positive covid test will still need to face a mandatory period of 5-day isolation.
In the meantime, as restrictions ease, the UAE will continue to educate its citizens about the dangers of COVID-19 and health facilities that monitor and perform treatment of the virus will be maintained.
“In the interest of health and safety of all, and in support of the efforts of all parties concerned, the community will continue to be educated about the dangers of COVID-19 in particular, and seasonal flu in general,” Dr. Al Dhaheri highlighted.
According to the official UAE covid-19 website, the region has given out nearly 25 million coronavirus vaccine doses, conducted 196 million tests, and diagnosed over 1 million cases since the epidemic began. As of today, there have been exactly 2,348 covid-related deaths in the UAE.
“Our solidarity over the past three years outlines the county’s interest in the health and safety of all community members, especially senior citizens, people of determination, and those with chronic diseases,” Dr. Al Dhaeri said.
“In the past period, we have witnessed a noticeable decrease in infections and deaths, which indicates the extent of society’s awareness and application of all precautionary and preventive measures to preserve the country’s gains and achievements.”