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Where do you still need to wear a mask in Italy from May 1st?

Italy recently extended its mask mandate for certain indoor venues beyond May 1st. Here’s what that means for you.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Which indoor public spaces in Italy will continue to require a mask from May 1st?
Which indoor public spaces in Italy will continue to require a mask from May 1st? Photo: THOMAS COEX / AFP
Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced at the end of April that the country’s mask mandate, which had been due to expire on May 1st, would be extended to June 15th for some indoor venues.

“We are not out of the pandemic and we still need to act with caution,” Speranza said when announcing the government’s decision in a speech on April 28th.

READ ALSO: Italy extends Covid indoor mask mandate for some venues

Mask-wearing was required by law in all indoor public spaces in Italy until the end of April, with high-grade Ffp2 masks required in some spaces and lower-grade surgical masks accepted in others.

From May 1st, the rules became a little more complicated, as Italy’s mask mandate was dropped for some venues while remaining in place for others.

So where will you still need to wear a mask in Italy from the start of May – and what type of mask do you need for which venue?

Here’s our breakdown of where you will (and won’t) need a mask in Italy from May 1st the until June 15th:

Public transport

The requirement to wear a high-grade Ffp2 mask remains in place for all local and long-distance public transport in Italy.

That includes planes, ships, trains, buses and coaches, local public transport networks, and school buses carrying primary and secondary aged schoolchildren, the health ministry’s latest ordinance specifies.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

The use of high-grade Ffp2 masks will remain mandatory on public transport in Italy until June 15th.

The use of high-grade Ffp2 masks will remain mandatory on public transport in Italy until June 15th. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP
Cinemas, theatres and concert halls

Anyone attending a performance in these environments must also continue to wear an Ffp2 mask. The requirement isn’t restricted to large spaces: any indoor entertainment space and any venue playing live music requires the Ffp2 mask until June 15th.

Indoor sports events or competitions

Ffp2 masks are required for all indoor sporting events and competitions, the government’s ordinance says.

As was previously the case, those participating in the events themselves don’t need to wear a mask while actively engaged in physical activity.

Health and social care facilities

All health and social care environments such as hospitals and residential homes require face masks to be worn by anyone accessing the facilities, including workers, users and visitors.

However, the ordinance does not specify that an Ffp2 mask is required for these settings, merely saying that ‘respiratory protection devices’ (such as surgical masks) should be used.

Schools

Schools are one of the few environments for which Italy’s government had already decided masks should remain in place until the end of the academic year.

That remains the case with the new rules, so until the summer holidays, those in schools will need to continue masking up – though it doesn’t have to be a high-grade Ffp2 mask unless specific Covid contact rules are triggered.

Italy will continue to require masks in classrooms until the end of the school year.
Italy will continue to require masks in classrooms until the end of the academic year. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP.
Places that no longer require a mask from May 1st

With the list of places that continue to require a mask out of the way, where won’t you need a mask in Italy from May?

The health ministry’s mask extension ordinance makes no mention of shops, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, museums and other cultural sites. All of these spaces will (as planned) no longer require a mask from May 1st.

Workplaces are also not included in the ordinance’s list of venues that will retain a mask requirement from May 1st; however, on April 29th Italy’s Minister for Public Administration Renato Brunetta issued a circular recommending (not requiring) the continued use of masks by public sector workers when in contact with members of the public, in canteens and lifts, and during face to face meetings.

The health ministry’s ordinance also “recommends” that masks continue to be worn in all indoor public spaces.

It’s important to bear in mind that the rule relaxations that come into effect on May 1st mean only that these venues are no longer required by law to enforce a mask mandate.

Individual workplaces, industry associations, businesses and local authorities can still impose stricter rules at their own discretion, so it’s advisable to keep a mask to hand in case you’re asked to put one on.

Find more information about Italy’s Covid-19 health restrictions on the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

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