Brazilian states begin to lift mandatory mask rules

Brazilian states begin to lift mandatory mask rules
Photo: Amonphan Comphanyo/Shutterstock

The São Paulo state government is expected to lift mask mandates next week, while at least another five states have already done so.

In Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina to the south, children are exempt from wearing masks, even in school. The states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Maranhão and Rio de Janeiro joined Santa Catarina in making mask use no longer necessary in open spaces. The next on the list is the capital Brasília, where mandates will no longer be effective as of March 7. 

São Paulo Governor João Doria said on Thursday that he intends to do the same, relying on vaccination figures — almost 83 percent of the state is at least twice vaccinated. Mr. Doria said local health authorities will also decide whether to remove mask requirements for school children. 

Without a consensus, all Brazil’s state governors are expected to meet later this month to debate nationwide decisions to update health restriction policies.