Mask use

The first line of defence against Covid-19 is a mask, and not wearing one has been declared a punishable offence in the latter two years of the pandemic.

Maharashtra has repealed its mandatory mask law, effective April 2, although anyone who wants to wear one can do so, according to health minister Rajesh Tope.

Also read: South Korea eases distancing amid slowing omicron spread

Masks not mandatory in Delhi or Maharashtra

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority, like Maharashtra, has ruled that there would be no charge for not wearing a mask. The fine in Delhi was 500 rupees.

West Bengal sees no restrictions, but masks must be worn

The West Bengal government has abolished all pandemic-related restrictions, but the mask mandate remains in effect.

Also read: India reports 1,335 new COVID-19 cases, 52 deaths in last 24 hours

Why are states doing away with the mask?

Experts are divided on whether it is the correct time to remove the mask, but whenever masks are removed, the approach must be cautious. Doctors advise that it must be done in stages, and that susceptible age groups should continue to wear masks. Furthermore, the states are not outlawing masks, but are eliminating the emergency punishment clause, which will encourage individuals not to wear masks in public.

Also read: CDC lifts COVID warning for cruise ship travel 2 years after risk advisory

The Centre said last week that all containment measures will be phased out on March 31. However, wearing a face mask and keeping a social distance were advised.

Is it the right time to unmask?

Omicron BA.2 has surfaced as a new global concern. China’s major cities have reintroduced quarantine. However, India’s pandemic condition is improving. Experts believe that removing the masks completely is not necessary since it could cause anarchy. Those who have symptoms should also continue to use the masks.