The Italian government lifts mask mandate in private sector. However, companies must provide FFP2 masks for those who wish or need to wear them.
From today, 1st July, the Italian government’s mask mandate has changed. On Thursday 30 June, the day the existing protocols were due to expire, Italy lifted the obligation for private sector workers to wear masks.
The new measures, in place until 31 October, underline that the use of FFP2 masks remains “an important defence for the protection of workers’ health for the purpose of preventing contagion in work contexts in closed environments shared by several workers or open to the public or where interpersonal distancing of one metre is not possible due to the specific nature of the work activities.”
Companies must ensure the availability of FFP2 masks for all employees; in particular, those considered at most risk of infection based on their working environment or if they suffer from poor health.
In addition, employers must also ensure shared areas such as canteens and changing rooms are adequately ventilated and sanitised.
The government says the new “streamlined” protocol is “an important simplification of the framework of rules but it is not a free-for-all, given the surge in infections in recent days”, reports Italian news agency ANSA.
Infections reach almost one million in Italy
The number of people in Italy with COVID-19 is close to the one-million mark after the health ministry reported 86,334 new cases in the last 24-hour period on Friday. That took the tally of people currently positive for the coronavirus here up to 929,006. The number of new cases was up from 83,274 on Thursday.
The ministry also said 72 COVID sufferers had died in Italy over the last 24 hours, up from 59 on Thursday. Furthermore, 264 COVID patients were in intensive care in Italy, an increase of three in one day.
Whilst there were 316,040 coronavirus tests in the 24-hour period, the positivity rate was 27.3%. This is down from 28.1% on Thursday.
For official information on covid-19 in Italy (in English) see the health ministry website.