Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) has clarified a number of situations that do not require face masks.
The ADPHC has also indentified a few groups of people who can qualify for mask-wearing exemptions. It is important to know the new guidelines for these exemptions in order to ensure one is following all precautions, and also protecting oneself adequately from COVID-19.
In normal situation, if you’re stepping out of your house, it is mandatory to wear a mask in the UAE. This measure has proven to be one of the most effective precautions against COVID-19, which is why authorities in the country have also mandated that residents wear face masks whenever they are in the presence of people who are not part of their household, even when at home. In fact, the failure to wear a face mask also invites hefty fines from the authorities.
However, the authorities on Sunday have clarified on mass exemption rules
Which are the groups of people who are exempted from wearing a mask?
Children under the age of two
People with severe disability (This group must be able to provide a relevant medical report if required.)
People with respiratory symptoms (This group must be able to provide a medical report that specifies their difficulty with mask wearing.)
Which situations allow for temporary removal of face masks, or provide residents with a mask wearing exemption?
Residents are allowed to remove their face masks for a limited period outside the house in the following cases:
When driving alone, or when driving in the presence of members of the same household. However, masks must always be worn when using public transport.
When eating or drinking, whether in the indoor or outdoor spaces of a restaurant. Residents must however maintain adequate physical distance from others.
When exercising. It is allowed for residents to remove their masks while running, jogging, racewalking, or practising other sports like swimming or cycling. There is still, however, a need to maintain physical distancing.
In a private office setting where you are alone with no people around
When undergoing specific treatments that require the removal of the mask, such as dental work and examinations of the eyes, nose and throat
What is the fine for failing to wear a mask when outside your house?
A Dh3,000 fine applies for this violation.