Italy eases mask mandate in some indoor places and drops Green Pass system everywhere except hospitals and nursing homes.
The Italian government has lifted the requirement to wear masks in many indoor public places from Sunday 1 May but has retained the mask mandate in certain settings until 15 June.
From 1 May masks will no longer be required in bars and restaurants (both inside and outdoors), shops, shopping malls, post offices, banks, night clubs, public offices, gyms, hairdressers, barbers and beauticians.
However the government has issued a «recommendation» to wear masks in crowded enclosed public places.
Until 15 June, masks must continue to be worn on all forms of public transport, cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting events and concerts, schools and universities.
The relaxation of Italy’s mask-wearing rules coincides with the scrapping of the Green Pass – the digital certificate proving the holder has been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid – which will remain in force only for staff and visitors of hospitals and nursing homes until the end of this year.
Here is a quick look at where masks are still required until 15 June.
The more protective FFP2 masks must be worn on all local and long-distance public transport – including buses, trams, subways, regional trains, high-speed trains, ferries and planes until 15 June.
Cinemas, theatres, concerts
The FFP2 masks will be worn in cinemas, theatres and for all indoor shows such as concerts.
FFP2 masks are required in indoor sporting events while masks are recommended – but not required – for outdoor sports events and in stadiums.
Masks must continue to be worn in schools until the end of the current academic year. The obligation, which applies to children over the age of six, will however see students allowed to wear the regular surgical mask rather than the FFP2 variety from 1 May.
In the workplace, masks are «strongly recommended» in public offices, for employees dealing with the public, in crowded spaces, in lifts and in the queue at the canteen. However the government has left it up to employers to decide whether or not to maintain the mask-wearing measures.
The wearing of masks is «strongly recommended» when visiting museums and archaeological sites, according to the websites of some museums and reports in Italian media. However a statement on the website of the Italian culture ministry states that surgical (chiurgica) masks are still required when visiting museums.
Italy’s Conference of Bishops (CEI) issued a statement saying that masks continue to be recommended for Mass, religious celebrations in churches and indoor parish activities, reports news agency ANSA.
«The numbers tell us that the pandemic is still ongoing and a cautious approach is needed» – said health minister Roberto Speranza – «We must insist on the use of the mask on all occasions in which there is a risk of contagion.»
For more details about the new mask rules (in Italian) see the government website while for official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy (in English) see the health ministry website. Photo credit: Sara Sette / Shutterstock.com.