Mask Mandate Lifted As COVID Cases Dip in US, Europe, UAE: What Are the Rules?

What are the CDC guidelines? Which countries have lifted the mask mandate? Here is a list.

2 min read

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had, earlier last week, released new guidelines suggesting that 70 percent of Americans no longer needed to wear masks and needn't avoid crowded spaces.

Instead of heavily relying on the number of COVID-19 cases to gauge mask effectiveness, the CDC is assessing local hospital capacity and rate of hospitalisation to formulate key measures in the USA.

What are the CDC guidelines? Which other countries have lifted the mask mandate? Here is a list.

USA: CDC Guidelines

The following are the CDC guidelines in the USA for areas of:

Low Risk:

  • No need for masks (wear at preference)

  • Wear if symptoms start to show

Medium Risk:

  • Masks for immunocompromised people

  • Wear if in contact with someone at high risk for severe illness

High Risk:

  • Masks required indoors and in public places

  • Wear regardless of vaccination status

Almost 70 percent of the population in the USA are in areas of low or medium risk.



Denmark became the first European country to lift the mask mandate.

This is in view of:

  • Denmark's high rate of vaccination

  • Authorities claiming that the virus is no longer considered a 'critical threat'


England has lifted the legal mandate on face coverings.

However, the government has suggested that face coverings be worn in:

  • Enclosed spaces

  • Crowded places


France has stated that face masks would no longer be compulsory in public places that require vaccination passes.

However, masks must be worn at indoor places and public transport, where a vaccination pass is not needed.

"The wearing of masks indoors will be maintained in transport and enclosed places not subject to the vaccination pass. In other enclosed places subject to the vaccination pass, wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory."
French Health Ministry


In Italy, face masks are no longer required in public places.

Nevertheless, face masks should still be worn in:

  • All indoor public places

  • Busy outdoor areas


As the number of COVID-19 infections in Spain continues to decline, the country recently removed the mandate for wearing masks in outdoor settings.

Masks are still necessary for:

  • Enclosed spaces

  • Public transport

  • Places where social distancing is not followed


Wearing face covers in open spaces is no longer a mandate in UAE. The National Authority for Emergency, Crisis, and Disaster Management (NCEMA) has announced face covers to be optional.

Face masks must still be worn in closed spaces.

(Inputs from Times of India and NYT.)

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