São Paulo and Rio consider making mask optional in open spaces

Following the decrease in hospitalizations due to Covid-19, the authorities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro begin to study the possibility of leaving the use of optional masks in open spaces in cities. In Rio de Janeiro the obligation should end around October 15th, and in São Paulo it is estimated that it will end in the second half of the month.

Since March 2020, the Covid-19 was characterized by the WHO as a pandemic, and since then the recommendations to stay indoors as much as possible and the use of masks when leaving the house, in addition to constant cleaning, especially of the hands and avoiding contact with the face. The cases of death due to the virus reach almost 600 thousand.

Is it already safe to abandon the use of masks in open spaces?

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes (PSD), shared an official document on his social networks that says a minimum of 65% of the population needs to be vaccinated to consider ending the use of masks in open spaces, and the mayor confirms, with data from the city hall itself, that 72% of the adult population has already completed the vaccination cycle, meaning that the city of Rio de Janeiro will soon consider optional masks.

In São Paulo, the rate of the vaccinated population reaches approximately 82%, and must wait until 90% so that the use of mask in open spaces is considered. Among adolescents, more than 95% have already completed the first vaccination cycle. Until recently, the city required presentation of a vaccination passport to access local establishments.

Woman receives vaccine against covid-19

What has driven the reduction in the use of masks in open spaces has been, above all, the decrease in death rates, which have been falling statistically since July this year. Earlier this week, São Paulo would be hosting little more than 500 inpatients, in contrast to more than 2000 in March of the same year.

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When is it due?

According to the document shared by Eduardo Paes, greater flexibility in November 2021 can be expected, with masks being mandatory only in public transport and hospital environments — if the vaccinated population reaches 75%. Additionally, it is considered to allow the free movement of people, without restrictions on distance or capacity limits. The city of São Paulo continues without bigger predictions, until the 90% of the population have had confirmation of receiving the vaccine.

Increasingly, we are moving closer to something closer to the period before the pandemic. We just need to wait a little longer, so it is recommended that you maintain the care of detachment and the use of masks until official decisions by the city halls of each city are revealed.

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Source: Folha, PAHO

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