List of states where Covid-19 mask not mandatory anymore. Explained
Covid-19 masks are not longer mandatory in Delhi and Maharashtra as in there will be no penalty for not wearing a mask in public but wearing one is advisable according to experts.
Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal have announced complete relaxation of the Covid-19 norms starting from April in view of the steady decline in the Covid-19 pandemic situation, notwithstanding the fresh surge being witnessed in China. While this means all pandemic curbs now stand withdrawn, whether to wear a mask or not is debatable as Maharashtra and Delhi have done away with the penalty for not wearing the mask in public places.
To wear or not to wear the mask
Mask is the first line of defence against Covid-19, not wearing which was made a punishable offence in the last two years of the pandemic.
Maharashtra has withdrawn its mandatory mask rule starting from April 2, but if anyone wants to wear one, they can of course wear it, health minister Rajesh Tope said.
Mask not mandatory in Delhi, Maharashtra
Like Maharashtra, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has also decided that there will be no fine for not wearing a mask. In Delhi, the fine was ₹500.
No restrictions in West Bengal, but masks to continue
The West Bengal government has lifted all restrictions imposed because of the pandemic but said the mask mandate will continue.
Why states are doing away with the mask
Experts are divided over whether it is the right time to do away with the mask but whenever masks are done away with, the approach has to be cautious. It has to be done in phases, and the vulnerable age groups should continue with masks, doctors say. Moreover, the states are not doing away with the masks, but withdrawing the emergency provision of penalty which, in turn, will encourage people to not wear masks in the public.
Last week, the Centre announced that all containment measures will end on March 31. But wearing of face mask and maintaining social distancing were advised.
Is it the right time to unmask?
Omicron BA.2 has emerged as a fresh concern across the world. Major cities of China have embraced quarantine once again. But India’s pandemic situation is only improving. Experts feel that does not warrant a complete withdrawal of the masks as it may lead to chaos. Also, those with symptoms should strictly continue wearing the masks.