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COVID-19 RULES

Where do you still need to wear a mask in Italy from May 1st?

Italy recently extended its mask mandate for certain indoor venues beyond May 1st. Here's what that means for you.

Which indoor public spaces in Italy will continue to require a mask from May 1st?
Which indoor public spaces in Italy will continue to require a mask from May 1st? Photo: THOMAS COEX / AFP

Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced at the end of April that the country’s mask mandate, which had been due to expire on May 1st, would be extended to June 15th for some indoor venues.

“We are not out of the pandemic and we still need to act with caution,” Speranza said when announcing the government’s decision in a speech on April 28th.

READ ALSO: Italy extends Covid indoor mask mandate for some venues

Mask-wearing was required by law in all indoor public spaces in Italy until the end of April, with high-grade Ffp2 masks required in some spaces and lower-grade surgical masks accepted in others.

From May 1st, the rules became a little more complicated, as Italy’s mask mandate was dropped for some venues while remaining in place for others.

So where will you still need to wear a mask in Italy from the start of May – and what type of mask do you need for which venue?

Here’s our breakdown of where you will (and won’t) need a mask in Italy from May 1st the until June 15th:

Public transport

The requirement to wear a high-grade Ffp2 mask remains in place for all local and long-distance public transport in Italy. 

That includes planes, ships, trains, buses and coaches, local public transport networks, and school buses carrying primary and secondary aged schoolchildren, the health ministry’s latest ordinance specifies.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

The use of high-grade Ffp2 masks will remain mandatory on public transport in Italy until June 15th.

The use of high-grade Ffp2 masks will remain mandatory on public transport in Italy until June 15th. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Cinemas, theatres and concert halls

Anyone attending a performance in these environments must also continue to wear an Ffp2 mask. The requirement isn’t restricted to large spaces: any indoor entertainment space and any venue playing live music requires the Ffp2 mask until June 15th.

Indoor sports events or competitions

Ffp2 masks are required for all indoor sporting events and competitions, the government’s ordinance says.

As was previously the case, those participating in the events themselves don’t need to wear a mask while actively engaged in physical activity.

Health and social care facilities

All health and social care environments such as hospitals and residential homes require face masks to be worn by anyone accessing the facilities, including workers, users and visitors.

However, the ordinance does not specify that an Ffp2 mask is required for these settings, merely saying that ‘respiratory protection devices’ (such as surgical masks) should be used.

Schools

Schools are one of the few environments for which Italy’s government had already decided masks should remain in place until the end of the academic year.

That remains the case with the new rules, so until the summer holidays, those in schools will need to continue masking up – though it doesn’t have to be a high-grade Ffp2 mask unless specific Covid contact rules are triggered.

Italy will continue to require masks in classrooms until the end of the school year.
Italy will continue to require masks in classrooms until the end of the academic year. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP.

Places that no longer require a mask from May 1st

With the list of places that continue to require a mask out of the way, where won’t you need a mask in Italy from May?

The health ministry’s mask extension ordinance makes no mention of shops, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, museums and other cultural sites. All of these spaces will (as planned) no longer require a mask from May 1st.

Workplaces are also not included in the ordinance’s list of venues that will retain a mask requirement from May 1st; however, on April 29th Italy’s Minister for Public Administration Renato Brunetta issued a circular recommending (not requiring) the continued use of masks by public sector workers when in contact with members of the public, in canteens and lifts, and during face to face meetings.

The health ministry’s ordinance also “recommends” that masks continue to be worn in all indoor public spaces.

It’s important to bear in mind that the rule relaxations that come into effect on May 1st mean only that these venues are no longer required by law to enforce a mask mandate.

Individual workplaces, industry associations, businesses and local authorities can still impose stricter rules at their own discretion, so it’s advisable to keep a mask to hand in case you’re asked to put one on.

Find more information about Italy’s Covid-19 health restrictions on the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

Member comments

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. „The health ministry’s mask extension ordinance makes no mention of shops, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, museums and other cultural sites. All of these spaces will (as planned) no longer require a mask from May 1st.“ Is that true? Masks are still required in Pinacoteca in Milan. Does anyone know why?

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COVID-19 RULES

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

It will still be obligatory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June, despite the end of the EU-wide requirement on Monday, May 16th, the Italian government has confirmed.

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

The Italian government reiterated on Friday that its current mask-wearing rules remain in place until June 15th, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the mask mandate will still apply to all air passengers travelling to or from Italy, despite the end of an EU-wide requirement to wear masks on flights and at airports across the bloc from Monday.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

National regulations take precedence, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed when announcing the end of the EU rules.

“Wearing face masks at airports and inflight should be aligned with national measures on wearing masks in public transport and transport hubs,” they said in a joint statement published on May 11th.

READ ALSO: Why are so many Italians still wearing face masks in shops?

“If either the departure or destination States require the wearing of face masks on public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to comply with those requirements inflight, beyond 16 May 2022.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required”.

The Spanish government also said on Thursday that air passengers would have to continue wearing face masks on planes.

Italy’s current rules specify that higher-grade FFP2 masks should be worn on all forms of public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.

Though rules were eased in some settings from May 1st, masks also remain a requirement until June 15th at Italy’s cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting event and concert venues, schools and universities.

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