March 16, 2023 09:50
Next Monday will see the end of mandatory face masks on public transportation after two years and five months. That removes almost all coronavirus quarantine regulations except for the mask mandate in high-risk facilities and seven-day self-isolation of the infected.
Health authorities on Wednesday said, "The mask mandate on public transportation as well as at pharmacies in superstores and train stations will be lifted on March 20."
The decision was made after the lifting of the indoor mask mandate produced no significant spike in infections.
Masks still have to be worn in stand-alone pharmacies, hospitals and nursing homes. All major OECD member countries except Israel are keeping the mask mandate in place in medical facilities.
The remaining rules will be scrapped once the World Health Organization no longer labels COVID a "public health emergency of international concern," which is expected to happen around the end of April.
If COVID is categorized as an infectious disease at the same level as flu, there will no longer be any need to report infection to authorities within 24 hours or self-isolating.
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