The Italian government decided on Thursday to make the use of surgical masks mandatory abroad, announced the head of Health, Roberto Speranza, after the council of ministers, although he did not give a date of entry into force.
The country is going through “a not easy phase” in the face of the increase in cases due to the omicron variant of Covid-19, Speranza acknowledged.
Although he did not give a date of the entry into force of the new measures.
On Wednesday, another European country highly affected by the coronavirus, Spain, also implemented the mandatory mask abroad, a measure that it had withdrawn on June 26 of this year.
In addition, the maximum protection mask, the FFP2, will be mandatory in Italy in cinemas, theaters, sporting events or on public transport, buses, planes or boats.
On the other hand, the government decided to reduce from February 1 the duration of the health passport, from nine to six months, and reduce the period to receive the booster dose, from five to four months from now.
However, Speranza did not specify the effective date of this new term, which will be decided later.
Despite its high vaccination rate, more than 85% of the population over 12 years of age had the complete pattern, the new cases do not stop increasing.
On Thursday, the Health Ministry figures registered 44,000 cases, compared to 36,000 the day before and 16,000 on Monday.
According to a report published Thursday by the Higher Institute of Health, Ómicron represents 28% of cases in Italy.
This led to restrictions such as the ban until the end of January of parties and events where a lot of people are expected, even if they are abroad. The clubs will also be closed until January 31.
Italy is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 136,000 dead.