As India continues to struggle with the deadly Covid-19 second wave, there are some countries around the world with a large number of fully vaccinated citizens, so much so, that they have gone almost mask free. These countries have not only won the battle against the coronavirus but have also taken steps to go back to pre-pandemic life. Citizens of some of these countries don’t need to wear masks in public and can also hug their loved ones. Sounds too good to be true right? Well, read on to know more.
1. The USA
Fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks in public places devoid of crowds. President Joe Biden made this announcement. Shortly after he removed his mask and celebrated his first short walk at the White House, without a mask. Americans who are fully vaccinated can take off their masks while dining inside restaurants, working in offices and walking on the streets. America’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) stated that people can stop wearing masks in most public places. But they still have to don one in airports, trains, hospitals, doctor’s offices and transit hubs. Moreover, the USA is also vaccinating tourists in New York.
Despite, sharing borders with China and India, two of the most populous countries in the world, facing a devastating number of Covid infections, Bhutan emerged victorious against its battle with Covid-19. Thanks to Bhutan’s timely action, it was never brutally hit by the pandemic and kept the situation well under control. Bhutan vaccinated more than 93 per cent of its adult population in just 16 days. And thanks to its efficient systems in place, Bhutan has become a model nation for countries to follow while fighting Covid-19. With countries like India facing a torrential second wave, Bhutan is once again on alert. After all, no one is safe until everyone is safe.
3. The UK
The UK is one of the first countries in the world to allow human contact amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Infact, Britain has also implemented hugging rules that state that you can hug your loved one. But there are conditions for the same. Calling it a “cautious hug”, the government states that hugs must happen outdoor, without face to face contact and shouldn’t last long. You can hug a fully vaccinated individual without wearing a mask. But when it comes to hugging a person who is not vaccinated, you must wear a mask. By the way, did you know London has a mini Gujarat?
4. New Zealand
New Zealand has almost eliminated Covid cases in the country. It also lifted mask-wearing requirements last year. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s efficient governance kept Covid fatalities to a minimum of 26. The government’s quick actions and decisions are the reasons why New Zealand is a mask-free nation today. However, people still need to wear masks in public transport nationwide and on flights. Interestingly, a concert was also organised in Auckland, attended by 50,000 people without social distancing or mask requirements. So, you can imagine that the country triumphantly won its battle against Covid-19.
Israel was the first country in the world to declare itself Covid free. Infact the government also removed the compulsory face mask rule here, so people could go back to the pre-pandemic times. Around 70 per cent of Israel’s population is vaccinated and mask-free. However, the Israel health ministry still urged the public to wear face masks in large outdoor gatherings and in indoors. But people don’t need to don masks in open-air spaces.