20210923 UAE; mask; COVID-19
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As countries around the world begin to either reduce or eliminate pandemic-related restrictions, UAE has taken a lead and scrapped PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated passengers coming to the country.

While vaccinated passengers need to show approved vaccination certificate, masks will no longer be mandatory in open spaces in Dubai.

Similarly, UAE residents travelling from India to Dubai, which constitutes a major travel sector, no longer require GDRFA or ICA approval. On Tuesday, most airlines updated their travel requirements where passengers are no longer required to conduct a Rapid PCR test at the airport before departure.

These are welcome developments and align with the moves by some of the biggest economies in the world — like the US. Although Covid rules vary between different US states and cities, the White House has come around to announce a sweeping overhaul of its Covid strategy as per the latest news reports.

The US is expected to signal to the world that the nation is moving past its crisis mode and into a more manageable phase of the pandemic. The idea being that much of the world will begin to consider living with the virus rather than completely eradicating it.

Many European countries too have relaxed travel requirements in recent weeks. EU has recommended that countries end their isolation periods for incoming travellers who possess a “green pass” — a big change from the recent past when fears of a deadly virus pushed nations to willingly adopt different lifestyles and drastically adjust behaviour.

UK has gone a further step ahead. England has ended all Covid-related restrictions, including isolation laws in sync with the government’s new strategy for “living with Covid” in the longer term.

Access to vaccines, booster shots, and testing, as well as increasing availability of therapeutics has led to a point where most nations are moving towards pulling back on restrictions, such as outdoor masking mandates.

With the community’s ability to withstand Covid transmission and coronavirus-related hospitalisations now nearing the lowest level since the latest surge — a few months ago — all indications point to the fact that a majority of nations have turned a corner in the two-year pandemic.