The governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB), announced that he will abolish the mandatory use of masks in open-air places on December 11, 21 months after the start of the pandemic. In closed spaces mask use remains compulsory.
With 74% of the population fully vaccinated, the average seven-day Covid deaths in the state is now 61.
It is expected that by the end of this month 80% of São Paulo citizens will be completed vaccinated.
However, the number of cases is rising again; Europe faces a new wave of disease, and experts disagree on making the use of one of the most effective instruments for preventing contamination more flexible at the moment.
The coordinator of the Scientific Committee for Covid in SP, Paulo Menezes, endorses the measure, but recommends keeping its use in close contact among strangers.
For infectologist Leonardo Weissmann, the measure is risky on the eve of the end-of-year festivities and their big gatherings, which include tourists from places with lower vaccination coverage.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon