Masks no longer mandatory after Covid rules eased

BAHRAIN has eased its stringent face mask rules with the covering no longer mandatory, both indoors and outdoors.

Authorities have also suspended the four-tier traffic light-style mechanism used to monitor the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The decisions, which took effect yesterday, was announced by the National Taskforce to Combat Covid-19, which also stated that the mechanism could be reactivated, if needed.

Wearing a face mask would remain an option, both indoors and outdoors. However, the task force stressed the importance of the protective covering while dealing with the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.

Meanwhile, the new rule would not apply to workers at health facilities, who have to continue wearing masks.

“Based on the latest developments and data related to the coronavirus, it has been decided to suspend the traffic-light mechanism with effect from Monday and to reactivate it whenever the need arises,” the tas kforce said in a statement yesterday.


Bahrain adopted the four-tier traffic light mechanism on July 1 last year to assess Covid-19 spread in the kingdom and accordingly determine what facilities and services could be made available to the public. The four levels – green, yellow, orange and red – were initially based on the average percentage of positive cases out of daily Covid-19 tests. Subsequently, in November last year, the task force updated the system to be based on a rolling average of positive cases in intensive care.

“Bahrain had adopted pro-active measures to combat Covid-19, which have proven effective and successful,” the task force said.

“We will continue to build on the achievements to help contribute to the health and safety of all.”

The country, over the last nine months, had gone into all levels except the red, based on the task force’s assessment of the virus spread in the community.

Initially the green level was applicable when the rolling average of positive cases out of tests carried out was below two per cent for 14 days. During occasions, including the Arafah, Eid Al Adha and Eid Al Fitr holidays, the country stepped into yellow and orange zones, with restrictions varying in each level. The green zone was the lowest level with fewer restrictions, while the red came with maximum curbs including closure of public facilities.

Last month, Bahrain entered the green zone of the Traffic Light System, with an easing of most of the existing coronavirus restrictions. Accordingly, all indoor facilities went back to 100pc capacity and citizens and residents were no longer required to show the Green Shield on the BeAware app to enter mosques, shopping malls, restaurants and cafés, government centres, gyms, cinemas, and salons. Masks were also not required outside, while it was mandatory indoors.




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