UAE loosens rules on COVID-19 face masks ahead of Expo

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A beach lifeguard is seen at the Atlantis The Palm Hotel, as the Emirates reopens to tourism amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 7, 2020. REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah / Files

DUBAI, Sept. 22 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday reduced the number of places where face masks must be worn as it prepares to open the Expo 2020 World Expo next month and as the official number COVID-19 cases are decreasing.

The UAE had demanded masks in all public places and among members of different households in private vehicles.

While respecting a two-meter distance rule, masks can now be removed when exercising in public places, on beaches and poolside, in hairdressing salons and in medical centers during treatment .

The change follows a steady decline in daily cases reported since early July, the National Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said in a statement released by the state news agency WAM.

Local authorities should post signs where it is allowed to remove masks, he added.

Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, opens the Expo 2020 World Expo on October 1 which it hopes will attract 25 million domestic and foreign visitors. Read more

Anyone attending the Expo over the age of 18 will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or test negative to enter.

Written by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Nick Macfie

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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