Coronavirus: Dubai changes rules on wearing face masks in public

A worker poses for a picture as activities resume at a spare parts shop in the industrial area of Dubai near the airport. (AFP)

Authorities in Dubai have updated rules on wearing face masks in public, exempting children under the age of six and people with cognitive, intellectual or sensory disorders and those engaging in strenuous indoor and outdoor exercise from wearing them.

The updates to the rule were made on Sunday night by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.

The new rules on face masks comes as movement to and from the UAE’s capital city Abu Dhabi and its cities will be restricted starting from June 2 for a week as part of efforts to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the Abu Dhabi Media Office announced on Sunday.

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The following categories of people are now exempt from wearing face masks in public under these specific conditions:

- Children under the age of six.

- People of determination with cognitive, intellectual or sensory disorders or any impairments that hamper their ability to breathe or communicate, as well as those for whom masks can lead to sensory triggering (This should be confirmed by a medical report).

- Individuals who require supplemental oxygen or have severe respiratory conditions, who cannot breathe safely or have difficulty breathing with a mask, are also exempted (This should be confirmed by a medical report).

Read the latest coronavirus updates in our dedicated section.

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A man wearing a mask due to the coronavirus pandemic works out at a sports club called Gymnation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP)

A man wearing a mask due to the coronavirus pandemic works out at a sports club called Gymnation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP)

The following updates also allow the public to temporarily remove their face mask while out in public under these conditions:

- When driving the car alone or in the presence of the same household members.

- While eating or drinking in indoor and outdoor settings, for example in restaurants. The public must however maintain physical distance with others.

- When engaging in strenuous indoor and outdoor exercise or high intensity workouts, as it may exacerbate known or unknown health conditions. Physical distancing must be observed at all times.

- While being alone with no people around - for example, in a private office setting.

- When the risks associated with wearing the face mask outweigh the benefits, for example while swimming or skydiving.

- While undergoing specific treatments that require removal of masks, such as dental work and eye, nose, and throat examinations, as well as other related treatments or examinations including those involving hair and beauty.



“The new guidelines were developed following the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre’s latest assessment of global developments surrounding the pandemic and an assessment of the local situation. The COVID-19 Command and Control Centre has been collaborating with local and international research and medical bodies to better understand how to combat the pandemic and minimize its repercussions as per best global practices, especially as life in the emirate gradually returns to normal,” Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said in its statement.

The United Arab Emirates detected on Sunday 661 new coronavirus cases after conducting over 37,000 tests, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 34,557, the Ministry of Health announced.

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Last Update: Monday, 01 June 2020 KSA 06:21 - GMT 03:21
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