Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

COVID-19 restrictions in UAE to loosen from Wednesday

Women in face masks WAM
Face masks are still mandatory in certain settings such as medical facilities, but otherwise optional

The UAE will ease COVID-19 restrictions nationwide from Wednesday, September 28, according to WAM, the Emirates’ state-owned news agency.

The COVID-19 daily cases announcement will be discontinued because of the significant recovery seen across the country, said Dr. Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesperson for the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority.

However, the green pass system is being updated: it will require vaccinated people and exempted individuals to take a PCR test once a month to maintain their green status. Unvaccinated individuals must take the test every seven days, he added.

The green pass system remains a prerequisite for employees and visitors to enter federal authorities and entities. It is also being expanded to cover workers in the tourism and economic sectors.

Where are face masks still required?

Face masks are still mandatory in medical facilities, mosques and public transportation, as well as for food service providers, injured and suspected cases.

Otherwise, wearing masks is optional for all other open and closed facilities and spaces, Al Dhaheri said.

In mosques and places of worship, precautionary procedures have been reduced, and social distancing for worshipers has been cancelled, the official added. Wearing face masks remains mandatory.

The tourism sector, including hotels and their facilities, parks and recreational spaces, and the economic sector, such as malls and shops, in addition to various events, are vital and active sectors; therefore, the updated green pass requirements must be met to be allowed entry.

Air travel and pre-departure testing

The aviation sector will adopt precautionary measures in line with the national aviation protocol, he said, with airlines deciding whether face masks will be mandatory or optional on planes.

The requirements for pre-departure testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be determined based on the needs of their travel destinations.

For those coming to the UAE, the current protocol remains applicable to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

The safety measures will be adopted in line with the national education protocol, and wearing face masks in open and closed spaces will be optional. The new green pass requirements will be applicable.

A reduction in the isolation period

The isolation period for positive cases is being reduced to five days, for both home and institutional isolation. Employers are to take responsibility for institutional isolation measures, for example in worker housing cities.

People who come into contact with confirmed cases must take a PCR test if they show any symptoms, Al Dhaheri said. Those in vulnerable groups should take a PCR test and monitor their condition for seven days.

The updated procedures are part of the initial phase for easing restrictions, with further updates to be announced regularly. The situation is stable in the country, Al Dhaheri added, and infections are declining.  

Latest articles

Helmet, Adult, Male

Saudi Aramco’s $10bn share sale slated for next month

Saudi Aramco’s anticipated share sale is expected to take place next month, according to a media report. The offering is projected to raise nearly $10 billion and will be listed on the local stock exchange, Reuters reported, citing unnamed informed sources.  The sources said details may still change, but the process continues. In September 2023, […]

Indoors, Restaurant, Cafeteria

Hong Kong’s airport lounge operator targets Saudi expansion

Hong Kong’s airport lounge operator, Plaza Premium Group (PPG), has earmarked $100 million to expand across the Middle East, focusing on Saudi Arabia. The regional expansion is part of its three-year $300 million global expansion plan. The funds will be allocated to opening lounges, establishing an airport concierge service with white-glove service, opening innovative dining outlets and exploring […]

Russians Turkey Istanbul Bridge

Russians rush from Turkey as costs and restrictions bite

Rising costs, increased difficulties in obtaining residency permits and tighter enforcement of restrictions on the number of foreign nationals who can live in popular regions are prompting an exodus of Russian citizens from Turkey.  The number of Russian nationals holding Turkish residence permits has plunged to just over 96,000 as of May 16, down from […]