A mask-and-glove-clad staff member of a hotel waits at the reception in Dubai. AFP
Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management headed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced a set of guidelines on the use of face masks outside the house and in public areas for different age groups.
The Committee explained that the new guidelines take into account the exceptional situations of some categories of people including people of determination, children, and those with chronic respiratory conditions.
All members of the community must wear face masks outside their homes at all times, the Supreme Committee stressed.
The following categories have been exempted from wearing face masks under specific conditions:
• Children under the age of six.
• People of determination with cognitive, intellectual or sensory disorders or any impairments that hamper their ability to breathe or communicate, as well as those for whom masks can lead to sensory triggering (This should be confirmed by a medical report).
• Individuals who require supplemental oxygen or have severe respiratory conditions, who cannot breathe safely or have difficulty breathing with a mask, are also exempted (This should be confirmed by a medical report)
The Committee also decided to allow the public to remove their face masks temporarily outside the house strictly only under the following conditions:
• When driving the car alone or in the presence of the same household members.
• While eating or drinking in indoor and outdoor settings, for example in restaurants. The public must however maintain physical distance with others.
• When engaging in strenuous indoor and outdoor exercise or high intensity workouts, as it may exacerbate known or unknown health conditions. Physical distancing must be observed at all times.
• While being alone with no people around - for example, in a private office setting.
• When the risks associated with wearing the face mask outweigh the benefits, for example while swimming or skydiving.
• While undergoing specific treatments that require removal of masks, such as dental work and eye, nose, and throat examinations, as well as other related treatments or examinations including those involving hair and beauty.
The Committee explained that the exemptions are in line with the need to protect the safety of the community and remove risks faced by some segments from wearing the masks.
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