From June 28, people are no longer required to wear face masks outside, as the level of risk decreases with heavy loads.
In Italy, people will not have to wear masks outside from June 28, the government said, as COVID-19 cases և hospitalization are declining in one of Europe’s worst-hit countries.
Mandatory masks were applied in October last year, when the country was entering a second wave of infections, and the authorities were struggling to contain the growing national burden.
The government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been steadily lifting restrictions since April, allowing restaurants, bars, cinemas, gyms to reopen and allowing freedom of movement in the country.
Wearing masks was one of the last rules to stay in place.
It will not be completely removed, the government said on Monday. People are still required to wear masks in closed public places and on public transport.
People will be advised to continue to wear a mask with them when leaving the house, be prepared to wear it outdoors if there is a person, and for events with a higher risk of transmitting the virus, such as large gatherings.
The decision will take effect next Monday, when the country is expected to be the COVID-19 white zone, the lowest level of risk in Italy’s four-tier color-coded system to adjust curbs in its 20 regions.
Nineteen regions are already white.
The exception is the small northern area of Valle d’Aosta. It is yellow, which means the second lowest risk level.
“From June 28, we will abandon the need to wear masks outside of white belts,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote on Facebook after receiving advice from a government expert council.
The announcement follows similar decisions in other European countries, such as France and Spain, although concerns remain in Europe over the spread of a new, highly contagious Delta version.
Twenty-six percent of Italians were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while about 52 percent received at least one dose.
Vaccine rates are largely in line with those of other major EU countries.
At the same time, cases are now at an all-time low in 2021, and the pressure on hospitals is steadily easing. 21 deaths and 495 new infections were registered in the republic on Monday.
Italy recorded a total of 127,291 coronavirus deaths և 4.25 million infections.