Maharashtra on Thursday announced that wearing masks will now be optional in the state becoming the first state to make the use of masks in public places non-mandatory.
The FPJ conducted a Twitter poll today asking people about the state government’s decision to make masks optional, where 60.90% of people supported the decision, while 39.10% opposed.
“Do you think the government of #Maharashtra has made the right decision in making the wearing of masks voluntary, especially in the context of increasing cases of #COVID19 in #Europe, #China?” asked the FPJ.
The government withdrew the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, which were invoked in March 2020 following the spike in Covid cases following the outbreak of the pandemic.
The state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Thursday unanimously approved the lifting of all Covid restrictions from Gudi Padwa, which falls on Saturday April 2 this year.
Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that with Cabinet’s decision to lift all restrictions, rules such as mandatory double vaccination and mask-wearing no longer apply.
Tope further said that countries in the US, UK and Europe have already gone mask-free. “But we have made it optional. The decision was taken by the chief minister and all others in consultation with the task force and the health department,” Indian Express quoted the health minister as saying.
Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad tweeted that people are free to celebrate Marathi New Year Gudi Padwa, Ramzan and Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti without restrictions.
Reportedly, there will now be no more statewide restrictions on movie theaters, shopping complexes, restaurants, bars and sports venues.
From today, Mumbai Police will no longer issue fines to people who do not wear a mask.
(with contributions from the agency)
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Published on: Friday 01 April 2022, 18:58 IST