Government of RJ publishes mask law, but release still depends on regulation; UNDERSTAND | Rio de Janeiro

The law that makes the use of masks against Covid in RJ more flexible was published in the State Official Gazette this Thursday (28). But the release is not yet in effect. The State Secretary of Health, Alexandre Chieppe, explained to Bom Dia Rio that the text sanctioned by Governor Cláudio Castro (PL) depends on regulation.

This detail will come in a resolution from the secretariat, scheduled to be published in an extra edition of the Official Gazette this Thursday or, at the latest, on Friday (28).

On Wednesday (27), the state informed that Castro had sanctioned the bill on the subject, approved a day earlier by state deputies at Alerj, in a single discussion.

What does Castro’s law say?

“The obligation of this Law may be made more flexible by the State and Municipal Executive Powers, by their own act, according to advances in vaccination and the technical guidelines of specialists in public health”, says the text.

“The mandatory use of the respiratory protective mask referred to in this Law, within the State of Rio de Janeiro, will be gradually relaxed in the places stipulated by means of a Resolution of the State Department of Health, observing the following parameters:

  • social distancing;
  • open and closed environment;
  • percentage of population vaccination;
  • conducting test events;
  • other pertinent scientific criteria.”

Castro sanctions law that regulates the use of masks in RJ — Photo: Divulgação/Governo do Rio

“More than a year and a half after the decree of public calamity in Brazil due to the pandemic, this measure represents an important leap towards the victory of the state and the people of Rio de Janeiro over the virus,” said Castro.

In the capital, there is already a decree published, since Tuesday, which will take effect as soon as the state regulations are published in the Official Gazette.

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What will become valid in the capital

The municipal regulation enacted on Tuesday (see the full decree) depends on the state regulation for real. Therefore, as soon as the state’s resolution is published in the Official Gazette, on Thursday, the following measures will take effect in the capital:

  • masks are no longer mandatory in open areas;
  • nightclubs, concert halls & a dance floor can work with 50% of capacity;
  • they are sports competitions released in gyms and stadiums with 100% of the public, with presentation of vaccine passport or PCR test done at least 48 hours before;
  • When 75% of the population is with the complete vaccination schedule, the masks will be mandatory only in public transport and in health units.

Criteria to abolish the use of masks in the capital

Alberto Chebabo, infectious diseases specialist and member of the Scientific Committee of the Municipality of Rio — Photo: Reproduction/TV Globo

Member of the Scientific Committee of the Municipality of Rio, the infectious disease specialist Alberto Chebabo, from UFRJ, explained to g1 that the agency was based on two criteria to reach the percentage of 65% of the adult population with a complete vaccination schedule to abolish the use of masks in open places:

  • That the capital had a favorable epidemiological scenario — with fewer serious cases, deaths and hospitalizations;
  • Technical studies from other countries, like England and the United States, which abolished the use of the accessory even with a smaller percentage.

“There was an internal discussion to define the ideal parameter. The Municipal Health Department had suggested an even lower percentage, if I’m not mistaken of 60%, but we consider that the value needed to be stricter. So we decided for 65%”, explained Chebabo.

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