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Covid: Italy extends some indoor mask rules until 15 June

Masks will continue to be required in certain indoor places in Italy for a further six weeks.

Italy is to retain the obligation to wear masks on public transport and in some indoor public settings until 15 June, the government said on Thursday.

The news was announced by health minister Roberto Speranza days before Italy's indoor mask-wearing rules expire on 30 April.

The obligation to wear masks will remain until 15 June on all forms of public transport, in hospitals and nursing homes, in cinemas and theatres, at concerts and indoor sporting events, and in schools and universities, reports Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

With the exception of hospitals and care homes, the wearing of masks in both the public and private workplace from 1 May onwards is "only strongly recommended", health undersecretary Andrea Costa told news agency ANSA on Thursday afternoon.

This means that from 1 May people will no longer be required to wear masks in bars, restaurants and shops, according to Italian media reports.

Speranza is expected to sign an order today extending the mask-wearing obligations, to act as a "bridge" measure pending the approval of a government decree, reports ANSA.

From 1 May, the government is to drop the Green Pass - the digital certificate proving the holder has been vaccinated or recently recovered from covid.

The lifting of these restrictions will include those relating to the Super Green Pass which can only be obtained by those who have been vaccinated or recovered from covid.

The Super Green Pass system will however remain in force until 31 December for those visiting hospitals and nursing homes.

Italy ended its outdoor mask mandate on 11 February, and on 31 March the country exited the covid state of emergency after more than two years.

For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy (in English) see the health ministry website.
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