Colombia to lift mandatory use of face masks
Bogota, April 26 (IANS) Colombia will lift the mandatory use of face masks on May 1, while the Covid-19 health emergency will be extended until June 30, Colombian President Ivan Duque has announced.
"As of May 1, the use of face masks will be lifted in closed spaces, with the exception of health centers, elderly homes, transportation and closed spaces within educational facilities," he said on Monday.
Duque added that the mask restriction will be removed only in municipalities with at least 70 per cent of the population fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and 40 per cent with a booster dose.
The decision to lift the measure was made following recommendations of the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation, as well as the domestic immunisation process, Xinhua news agency reported.
To date, Colombia has administered 82,443,202 vaccine doses, with 35,409,389 people fully vaccinated and 11,340,479 receiving a booster dose, according to the National Vaccination Plan.
On Sunday, the South American country reported 249 Covid-19 infections and seven deaths, for a total of 6,091,343 cases and 139,778 deaths, the Ministry of Health reported.