As more of the world’s population receive their first and second doses of the vaccine, many populations see easement in mask mandates and COVID-19 restrictions. One of these easements is the cancellation of strict face mask-wearing protocols. There are some places in the world, albeit very few so far, that have fully removed their mask-wearing policies. Here are some of them:
Countries with rescinded face mask policies
From late last year to early this year, Israel is always on the news for its aggressive vaccination program. It is their goal to immediately vaccinate at least 80% of their population by this year. This is in hopes of providing normalcy back to their citizens. Now, almost all adults in the Israeli population are vaccinated. While in the next 6 months, they are targeting to have all children vaccinated as well. Just this week, the Israeli government has announced that all OUTDOOR wearing of face masks is not anymore mandatory. There are still restrictions for unimmunized citizens and travelers.
They are the first in the world to announce the cancelation of face mask policies in public. Gibraltar is the first in the world to step into the entryways of normalcy. Just like in Israel, wearing face masks outdoors is no longer a strict requirement. However, citizens are still encouraged to wear facemasks indoors and on public transport.
Some US States
There is no mandate from the federal government to wear facemask in public. Some state governments also did not have any clear restrictions on this, but many counties have required their citizens to wear face masks. This is why face-covering rules in the country can be quite confusing. Some states in the US like Texas, Iowa, Montana, and North Dakota have lifted their mandates on mask-wearing. Other states like Alabama, New York, and Utah are also planning to lift their mandates soon. Despite lifting the restrictions, people are still encouraged to take precautions.
New Zealand has been hailed time and again for its impressive COVID-19 response. All their COVID-19 restrictions may have eased in the past few months but there are still some clear guidelines on wearing face coverings. Public transport and domestic flights still require the wearing of facemasks.
Although it is not mandatory, citizens are still encouraged to wear facemasks whenever they can as a means of protecting themselves from possible transmissions. Recently, they have started to open their borders to varied countries without the need for quarantine.
Eased COVID-19 Restrictions
Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia.
Wearing facemasks outside of the home is a norm in many Asian countries which is probably why we don’t see much news about them lifting their policies. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia are among the most impressive with their coronavirus response. Recently, these countries have eased stay-home requirements, public gatherings, local travel, and face mask-wearing. Also, countries like Australia have started to open their borders to neighbors with high percentages of vaccinations.