With the progress of the vaccination calendar against covid-19 in Rio de Janeiro and the metropolitan region, the flexibility of the mandatory use of masks has been debated by the municipalities.
In the capital, the city plans to partially release the use from November. The city of Niterói released the suspension of use in the area of beaches, with a minimum distance of one meter, as of this Friday (1st).
It is worth remembering that the mask is still the main means of containing, as individual and collective protection, the transmission of the virus that is still circulating around the world and is not under control.
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City halls explain that the motivation to partially release the dispensing of the mask is based on the percentage of the population vaccinated with the complete vaccination schedule. In the city of Rio, the two doses of the vaccine have already been applied to 57.9% of the population, while Niterói adds up to 62.4% of the vaccinated population.
According to the municipal secretary of Health of Rio de Janeiro, Daniel Soranz, the city plans to partially release the population from wearing masks in November. The subject was discussed at the press conference for the publication of the 39th epidemiological bulletin in the city, this Friday (1st).
“We understand that it is increasingly difficult to keep the population wearing a mask. It’s not simple right now. We are going to complete two years of pandemic. But our understanding is that the use of masks in Rio cannot be abolished. In October, we will reach 65% of the population fully vaccinated, and we will release more activities. November will be a more favorable time for us to discuss this”, he said.
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Dispensing with the use of a mask is provided for in the city’s reopening calendar prepared by the Scientific Committee to Combat Covid-19 (CEEC), which is based not on dates, but on levels of vaccination coverage.
According to the schedule, when the total population of Rio reaches 75% coverage with the two doses of the vaccine, facial protection will only be required in hospital environments and public transport. There is no provision for total exemption from the use of a mask.
In Niterói, the forecast is that from November the use of the mask will also be suspended for outdoor physical activities, with a distance of one meter. This month, it is estimated that vaccination coverage will reach 100% of the population over 18 years of age.
In January 2022, it is planned to suspend the mandatory use of the mask in open places, except for people from risk groups, such as immunosuppressed, pregnant women and the elderly. In the first month of next year, it is estimated that 100% of the population over 12 years of age is vaccinated and also that 100% of booster doses are applied to risk groups.
Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro
Edition: Mariana Pitasse