São Paulo maintains mandatory mask use in open spaces until December

mask use são paulo
Photo: Nelson Antoine/Shutterstock

Going against other Brazilian state capitals, São Paulo decided once again to maintain the mandatory mask use in open spaces as protection against Covid-19. The measure — set to be confirmed later today in a press conference — should remain in effect until at least the beginning of December.

The forecast is that the lifting of mask requirements will only occur after December 5 if the city manages to have more than 95 percent of the population over 12 years old vaccinated, and if coronavirus cases and death rates continue to fall. The date coincides with the reopening schedule released by São Paulo state last week.

At the end of last month, São Paulo Mayor Ricardo Nunes had already stated that masks would remain mandatory until early November, and that the city was carrying out a study to find potential scenarios to lift the measure.

With the decision, São Paulo goes against Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, the first major cities to announce the end of the mandatory mask use in open spaces in Brazil. For epidemiologists, however, the lifting of safety measures could fuel spikes of virus transmission and deaths, especially among those still unvaccinated.