Rio first Brazilian state capital to end mandatory mask use in open spaces

mask use brazil rio de janeiro
Photo: Delmiro Junior/Shutterstock

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, along with municipal health secretary Daniel Soranz, announced a decree on Tuesday night ending the mandatory use of masks in open spaces throughout the city, making Rio the country’s first state capital to do so.

According to Mr. Paes, the use of masks remains mandatory indoors. “And for whoever doesn’t feel comfortable and wants to continue wearing a mask in all environments, nothing changes,” he said. The mask rule change also allows nightclubs to open, providing they are limited to a maximum capacity of 50 percent.

According to Mr. Paes, the decision was taken with the support of scientific experts and data from the city’s health system, which indicates a consistent reduction in Covid-19 cases and deaths in Rio de Janeiro.

On Twitter, the mayor said that 99 percent of Rio’s population eligible for the coronavirus vaccine have already been immunized with at least one dose, and that 65 percent have taken a second jab. “This puts us among the cities with the highest levels of vaccination in the world.”