Taking off your face mask
When can you take your face mask off? Ajman Police clarifies. Image Credit: Stock image

Dubai: Wearing a face mask outside has become a part of the new normal during COVID-19 times. However, what are some of the exceptional situations when you can afford to take off your mask, with care?

Ajman Police posted an awareness message on their social media channels, providing clarification on when people can take their face mask off within the emirate.

Why is it important to wear a face mask?

Firstly, wearing a face mask was made mandatory by the UAE’s authorities to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. As per the list of penalties issued by the UAE Attorney-General in the Decision No. 38 of 2020 and amended by Decision No. 58 of 2020, not wearing a face mask in public can lead to a fine of Dh3,000.

People have been advised to wear a face mask when in closed public places, shopping centres, crowded open spaces as well as when using public transport.

Exceptions for not wearing masks

The following exceptional situations have been highlighted by Ajman Police, where an individual may take off their mask, but with care:

1. In the vehicle with family members

2. Being alone in the vehicle

3. While eating in restaurants

4. While exercising, while maintaining social distance

5. While swimming, and maintaining social distance

6. Being alone at somewhere private

7. While doing treatments for face

How you can remove a face mask carefully

The World Health Organisation provides the following best practices when handling face masks, and temporarily taking them off:

1. Clean your hands before removing the mask.

2. Avoid touching the mask.

3. Remove it by the straps behind the ears or head.

4. Pull it away without touching it.

5. Store the mask in a clean plastic bag, if you temporarily take it off.

6. To wear again, remove the mask from the bag by touching only the straps.

7. If you are wearing a disposable mask, discard it after use and clean your hands thoroughly.

8. In case of a fabric or reusable mask, wash it with soap or detergent, and hot water after each use.