Italy says face masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors from June 28 | Inquirer News
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Italy says face masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors from June 28

/ 04:15 PM June 22, 2021
italy facemasks outdoor

Milaneses wearing protective face masks walk across a pedestrian crossing in the commercial area of Corso Buenos Aires in the center Milan on January 13, 2021. AFP FILE PHOTO

ROME — Facemasks will no longer be compulsory outdoors in  Italy, one of the countries in Europe worst hit by the coronavirus, from June 28, the health ministry said Monday.

The lifting of the mask requirement would come into effect in regions labelled “white” under Italy’s classification system for how rapidly the virus is spreading, Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote on Facebook.

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This includes all Italian regions except the tiny Aosta Valley in the far northwest.

Speranza’s announcement came on advice from Italy’s  Comitato Tecnico Scientifico (CTS) scientific advisory panel, which said people should still have masks at hand for events with higher risk of spreading the virus like large gatherings.

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By June 28, experts predict all of Italy will be classified a “white” zone, with just 21 deaths and 495 new cases recorded nationwide on Monday.

The country has recorded 127,291 deaths since the pandemic reached it in early 2020, with 4.25 million infections.

So far 30 percent of people over 12 have been vaccinated, or around 16 million out of a population of 60 million.

More than 46 million vaccine doses have been administered in Italy.

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