Italy lifts mandatory masks outdoors as pandemic slows | Coronavirus pandemic News

People are no longer required to wear face coverings outdoors as of June 28, as the level of risk decreases as the number of cases decreases.

Italians will no longer have to wear masks outside from June 28, the government said, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations decline in one of Europe’s worst-affected countries by the pandemic.

Mandatory masks were imposed in October last year, as the country entered a second wave of infections and authorities struggled to curb the rise in the number of domestic cases.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government has steadily lifted restrictions since April, allowing restaurants, bars, cinemas and gymnasiums to reopen and allowing freedom of movement across the country.

Wearing a mask was one of the last rules to remain in place.

It will not be fully lifted, the government said on Monday; people will still be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces and on public transport.

People will be advised to continue to wear a mask with them when leaving the house and to be prepared to wear it outside if there are crowds and for events with a higher risk of virus transmission. such as large gatherings.

The decision will be effective from next Monday, when the nation is expected to be a COVID-19 white zone, the lowest risk level of Italy’s four-level color-coding system to calibrate borders in its 20 regions.

Nineteen regions are already white.

The tiny northern area of ​​the Aosta Valley is the exception – it’s yellow, indicating the second lowest level of risk.

“From June 28, we will leave behind the need to wear masks outdoors in white areas,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza posted on Facebook after receiving advice from the government’s expert council .

The announcement follows similar decisions in other European states such as France and Spain, although concerns remain in Europe about the spread of the highly contagious new Delta variant.

Twenty-six percent of Italians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while around 52 percent have received at least one dose.

Immunization figures are broadly in line with those of other large countries in the European Union.

Meanwhile, cases are now at their lowest level in 2021 and the pressure on hospitals is steadily decreasing. There were 21 deaths and 495 new infections recorded across the country on Monday.

Italy has recorded a total of 127,291 coronavirus deaths and 4.25 million infections.

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