Italy to lift mandatory use of masks in outdoor spaces

A Carabinieri agent asks two people for their health cards at a restaurant in Naples (REUTERS/Ciro de Luca)

The Italian authorities announced on Tuesday that from next Friday, February 11, The compulsory wearing of the mask outside will be lifted.except in case of great crowds.

In this way, the mandatory use of a mask is reduced to indoor spaces until, in principle, the end of March, when it is expected that the measure will also be removed, according to an order signed by the Italian Minister of Health. Health, Roberto Esperanza.

“Until March 31, 2022, the use of respiratory protection devices in closed places other than private homes is compulsory throughout the national territory”indicates the order.

Thus, from the Health portfolio, it was added that “it is compulsory throughout the national territory” to always have a mask with you and to wear it wherever you go. “there are gatherings or gatherings”.

On the other hand, the government has confirmed that Wearing a mask is not compulsory when practicing sports activities.

Moreover, the under six years oldas well as the population with disabled or pathologies incompatible with the use of a mask, will be exempted from wearing it.

The Italian ministry, for its part, explained in another note that is studying a gradual lifting of capacity restrictions in stadiums and other indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

Security guards ask passengers for the health pass at a three-way train station in Naples (REUTERS / Ciro de Luca)
Security guards ask passengers for the health pass at a three-way train station in Naples (REUTERS / Ciro de Luca)

Thus, the opening of these spaces from March 1 to 75% of capacity if they are open and at 60% if they are covered, and later, if the epidemiological data is positive, the trend will continue so that they can be completely filled.

Italian schools introduce from today the new regulations approved by the government to limit distance learning when cases of coronavirus appear in the classes and which allow to bring the positives to five to suspend the activity opposite to face, with only five-day quarantines, among other regulations.

The government of Mario Draghi reiterated its commitment to ensuring that schools remain open despite the pandemic, a decision much criticized, in particular by the directors of educational centers who must managing a complex set of rules, understaffing and a mix of face-to-face and online classes.

Due to the improvement of epidemiological data, during the last Council of Ministers last week, it was decided that in nursery and early childhood education at school would continue with four cases in the same class.

Teachers and educators are obliged to use FFP2 masks until the tenth day after learning of the last positive case, because at these ages (up to 6 years) the use of masks is not necessary for students .

With five or more positive cases in the same class, face-to-face activity is suspended and distance learning is activated for five days, reducing the quarantine period, which until now was ten days.

In primary education, minors will continue to attend classes with up to four positive caseswhile with one more, the vaccinated and those who have transmitted the disease will continue to be present with the use of FFP2 masks until the tenth day after the knowledge of the last positive case.

In the case of high school, online class measures will be applied from the third casebut they will only affect those who are not vaccinated.

Almost 92% of the Italian population has already received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine (REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane)
Almost 92% of the Italian population has already received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine (REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane)

Classes will be resumed in person after five dayshalf so far, accompanied by a negative antigen test without the need for a medical certificate, as was compulsory until now.

The directors of the centers have criticized these regulations which will allow students to be at home following online classes while others will be in schools.

They also caused differences within the government of “national unityby Mario Draghi, since ministers of the far-right League deserted the vote to approve these measures, which, according to them, discriminates against students who have not been vaccinated.

Health authorities recorded a total of 101,864 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total number to more than 11.7 million infections. For its part, the death toll is set at 149,512 after adding 415 new deaths this day.

91.24% of the population over 12 years old have already received at least one dose against the coronavirus and 88.45% have completed the cycle, while 34.87% of those under 5 to 11 years old have already had at least a puncture and 20.07% have the complete pattern.

(With information from Europa Press and EFE)

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