From 1 October 2022, it is no longer mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport. The Coronavirus, though, is set to remain.
Since spring 2020, they have been compulsory and therefore a steady companion for all bus and train passengers: protective face masks covering our noses and mouths to shield us from the SARS-CoV-19 virus.
At first, tube scarves, face coverings made from cloth and surgical masks were also permitted. Lockdowns, strict disinfection measures, separate entrances and exits on buses and trains and sealed-off areas to protect bus drivers shaped public transport in the first Covid year. Timetables had to be revised many times over and adapted to a set of ever-changing requirements, and additional school buses had to be provided – in other words, huge organisational challenges had to be mastered in order to continue providing public transport.
FFP2/N95 masks since February 2021
Against the backdrop of another wave of infections in the winter of 2020/21, protective measures had to be stepped up at the national level, and in February 2021 it became mandatory to wear FFP2/N95 masks on all public transport.
With the Omicron variant tightening its grip in the following winter, infection numbers were once again on the rise and made even more drastic measures necessary. Early January 2022 saw the launch of the so-called Super Green Pass: Only those who had been vaccinated against or had recently recovered from COVID-19 were allowed to travel on public transport.
During the first round of relaxations, the Green Pass rule was abolished in April 2022, but the obligation to wear an FFP2/N95 mask on public transport remained in force throughout Italy.
Now more than ever: Take care of yourself and others!
With the state regulation to wear masks on buses and trains gone, the risk of being fined is also a thing of the past. Which gives us all the more reason to exercise caution and responsibility at the individual level: Even if most of us are more than fed up with it all, it is still first and foremost up to us to protect ourselves and those around us as best as we can from contracting the virus.