According to the country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), UAE has eased most Covid safety rules as the number of daily infections continues to decline and deaths caused by the virus. From the get-go, the UAE was proactive in its approach to combatting the virus, implementing health and safety guidelines, social distancing measures, and a mask mandate.
Now, two and a half years later, it’s been announced by UAE officials, masks will no longer be mandatory to wear in almost all instances. The new rules will be applicable from Wednesday, September 28.
Mask-wearing inside flights is no longer required, but airlines can enforce the rule if necessary.
Passengers flying with Emirates, flydubai, and Etihad Airways are no longer required to wear a face mask when traveling. Masks are also not mandatory in schools. Masks will still be necessary for medical facilities and hospitals, mosques, places of worship, and public transport. The ruling officially applies to just the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, but the country’s six other emirates, including Dubai, are expected to follow suit.
UAE was appreciated for handling the pandemic; strict mask-wearing regulations and early vaccination access allowed it to return to business and tourism a few months after its initial lockdown from March to April 2020. In the years that followed, there were a few instances of a case surge, but UAE's real estate market boomed due to the increasing number of foreign employees looking for a normal life.
The UAE is the most vaccinated country in the world, with over 92 percent of residents receiving at least one dose, and over 81 percent fully vaccinated.