Italy FINALLY lifts national mask mandate as COVID-19 cases approach zero

With COVID-19 cases plummeting in Italy, its next step is to lift the national outdoor mask mandate as of next week, expectantly, on June 28th, with confirmation by Italy’s Health Minister, Robert Speranza.

Italy has experienced much struggle, as one of the more severely impacted countries to suffer from the effects of the coronavirus since the very beginning of the pandemic. However, with only 912 newly confirmed cases as of June 24th, these have been their lowest numbers since August of 2020 (Our World in Data). “From June 28th on, we are going to lift the obligation to wear masks outdoors in the (low risk/low restriction) white zone, but always complying with the precautionary recommendations issued by the CTS (Comitato Tecnico Scientifico or the Scientific Technical Committee),” Health Minister Speranza states from his personal Facebook account.

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Italy has been subjected to a heavier setback in its progress from restoring it as a functioning nation. Italy saw among the highest numbers in June globally, with 174,935 active cases (Statista). Due to the recent cases dramatically and consistently decreasing, Italy’s officials are racing to get the country back on its feet. Italy has a color-coded system, which differentiates severely infected zones with less impacted areas (red, orange, yellow, white). Italy has seen a majority of red and orange restrictions among its regions, meaning only essential travel with curfews are permitted within the region.

With their peak seeing over 40,000 cases in November of 2020, 19 of the 20 regions of the country are being labeled as “white zones”. A white zone is defined as having fewer than 50 cases, as per 100,000 people for three continuous weeks. These dwindling cases paired with the over 49 million successful vaccinations among its 60.66 million population pave the way for its reopening to non-essential overseas travel.

Much of Europe is taking different precautionary measures concerning the regulations of travel, however many officials agree it’s time to see a recovery in the economy and life of its citizens as a whole. “Effective January 26th, as airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test within three calendar days of travel,” the U.S. Embassy and Consultants state. The Bank of Italy projects an upwards of a 5% growth in the economy from the stagnation brought on by the pandemic which officials agree the country desperately needs. These are among the first steps in seeing the resurgence of Italy and Europe collectively.

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