BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia will lift a face mask mandate for some indoor spaces from May 1, President Ivan Duque said on Monday, though coverings will still be required on transport and in medical facilities and schools.
The Andean country has reported more than 6 million coronavirus infections and 139,778 deaths, according to the health ministry. It currently has just under 3,000 active cases.
“From May 1 face masks will no longer be required in enclosed spaces,” Duque said, adding they will still be required in care homes, hospitals and clinics, public transport and enclosed spaces at educational facilities.
Only municipalities where at least 70% of the population have been fully vaccinated and where at least 40% have had a booster shot can loosen restrictions, he added.
Travelers to Colombia who are not fully vaccinated must present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival or an antigen test taken 48 hours before, Duque said.
Bars, restaurants and large events will no longer have to require patrons to show proof of vaccination from May 1, he added, and the health state of emergency put in place in March 2020 will be extended a further two months to the end of June.
Masks are required indoors and outdoors in Venezuela and in indoor spaces in Chile, while the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro lifted indoor mask mandates last month. Peru will lift its outdoor mask mandate from May 1 for areas where 80% of those 60 and older have three doses.
(This story refiles to correct last paragraph, to say, Peru’s outdoor mask mandate to be lifted from May 1 for areas where 80% of those 60 and older have three doses, not that Peru has already lifted that mandate for areas where at least 80% of the total population has had three does.)
(Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Bernadette Baum)