Coronavirus: Dubai updates rules on wearing face masks in public

People in the emirate are permitted to temporarily remove their masks while exercising, driving or undergoing medical treatment

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Face masks no longer need to be worn in public in Dubai while exercising, following changes to the emirate's guidelines.

Previously, everyone in Dubai was obliged to wear a face mask whenever they were outside their home.

This included when a person was travelling in a vehicle with a passenger.

Dubai's new face mask rules

Dubai's new face mask rules

But updates made to the guidelines, made by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, say people can now temporarily remove their face masks in the following conditions:

  • When eating or drinking while indoors or outdoors
  • Driving alone or with family members (vehicle occupancy is still restricted to three people, including the driver)
  • Engaging in strenuous exercise
  • When alone
  • Swimming or skydiving
  • Undergoing specific medical treatment

Those exempt from wearing face masks in public at all include children under the age of 6, people with cognitive, intellectual or sensory disorders that hamper their ability to breathe or communicate and people who require supplemental oxygen or have severe respiratory conditions.

People with chronic illnesses, children, the elderly and pregnant people have generally been advised to stay at home for their protection.

When to remove mask.
When you can remove your mask

Last week, Dubai eased some restrictions on movement to allow the resumption of economic activities.

People are required to remain indoors from 11pm until 6am but people may exercise outdoors after fajr prayers, at 4.30am, as long as groups comprise no more than five people.

Public beaches, gyms and cinemas reopened but with measures in place to protect visitors and prevent the spread of the virus.

On Sunday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the UAE was entering a new stage of the pandemic, with the return of economic activity placing greater emphasis on personal responsibility.

Speaking at the first Cabinet meeting since government workers returned to their offices, Sheikh Mohammed said employers must put measures in place to protect staff so the "wheel of economy" could turn.

"We have entered a new stage, the stage for gradual return to economic life," he said on Twitter.

"Every person is responsible. All institutions and sectors are involved in protecting their staff. Health will remain a priority and a responsibility. Returning the wheel of the economy is strategic and necessary."

He said the outbreak had made the UAE "stronger, better and faster" and that the next step would require "a new spirit, with different thinking and to work faster with greater flexibility".

"We say to everyone: life is continuing, achievements are ongoing and this experience has made us stronger," Sheikh Mohammed said.