Residents in Dubai can apply for exemption from wearing masks on a case by case basis, as the Supreme Committee of Crisis & Disaster Management attempts to ease COVID-19 protocols without compromising too much on precautionary measures.
Applications will be processed within five days for those suffering from medical conditions that can be aggravated by wearing a face mask, in order to be exempted from wearing one.
This comes close to 7 months after Dubai’s Supreme Committee for Crisis and Disaster Management made masks mandatory for everyone and imposed AED 3000 fine for violators in May-June 2020.
A Twitter announcement said that the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Police have asked such residents to apply for mask- exemption permits by visiting a website.
Applications must include a medical report confirming the applicant suffers from medical problems that can be aggravated by face masks as well as the applicant’s Emirates ID among other key documents that must be submitted.
DHA’s General Medical Committee Office will evaluate each application on a case by case basis and successful applicants will get their approvals in five days.
Medical conditions that make residents eligible for a mask exemption include:
- Fungal dermatitis, especially if they have severe symptoms in the face like bleeding, itching and scaly skin.
- Allergic reaction to any component of a mask (allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, contact urticaria).
- Herpes simplex infection that affects the mouth, nose or face.
- Acute and uncontrolled chronic sinusitis.
- Uncontrolled asthma
- Mental and psychological conditions
The health authorities in Dubai stressed that the decision to exempt certain residents from donning masks is part of its objective of ensuring the safety and well-being of the public.
Though masks would not be mandatory for people with exemptions, the health authority encouraged them to wear a face mask in public places as far as possible to protect themselves and others from the risk of infection.
Dubai’s Supreme Committee for Crisis and Disaster Management has also announced that Dubai Taxi’s can remove plastic barriers - which were installed between driver and passenger - to provide convenience while still observing health protocols.
Though Dubai has eased COVID-19 restrictions and public places are slowly opening up, masks are still mandatory in public and those not wearing one will be subject to a fine.