Where do I still need to wear a face mask in Italy? January 2023 update

From October 1, 2022, the rules around the wearing of masks in Italy and Rome changed. No vaccination certificate is required to enter Italy, and masks are no longer a legal requirement in almost all public places. 

Here are the notable circumstances where masks used to be required but are no longer needed.

Where are face masks no longer required in Rome and Italy?

Masks are no longer a legal obligation:

  • Anywhere outdoors
  • Trains, buses, coaches, trams, metropolitan rail, light rail
  • Flights to and from Italy, and domestic flights (though your carrier may impose a different interpretation of the rules)
  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Outdoor sporting events
  • Indoor sporting events
  • Beauty parlors, hairdressers, barbers
  • Cinemas/movie theaters
  • Theaters
  • Museums, historical sites
  • The Vatican Museums (even though Vatican City is a different country to Italy)
  • Note that masks have never been required for children under six years of age

Bear in mind that for it is still be considered a courtesy to wear a mask for the peace of mind of local people. Use your best judgement to assess if elderly and vulnerable people are wearing masks, and please be courteous and do so to make them feel reassured, even if a mask is not legally required.

Some airlines may continue to enforce mask rules due to internal policy, or due to not updating their policy documentation in a timely manner (looking at you, Ryanair).

ffp2 covid mask italy rome 1

Where are face masks still required in Rome and Italy?

  • Hospitals
  • Doctors’ clinics
  • Care homes
  • Hospices
  • Other medical facilities

The Ministry of Health has extended these rules until October 31, 2022

What kind of face masks are still required in Rome and Italy?

In the case of a visit to a medical facility, the FFP2 type of mask is required. An FFP2 mask protects against particle sizes up to 0.6 μm, and reduces exposure to such airborne particles by a factor of 10 compared to no mask at all. While of course the virus is much smaller than this, virus-bearing airborne droplets expelled by people coughing, sneezing, or even talking, are larger than 0.6 μm and are effectively blocked by such masks – particularly if an infected person is wearing the mask, and is thus prevented from infecting others.

However the enforcement of this specific mask type is not strict, so the general rule of thumb is “as long as you look like some kind of bird” then you will likely be acceptable.

Where can I buy suitable face masks in Rome?

Suitable FFP2 type face masks can be bought at any pharmacy, tobacconist, or supermarket throughout Italy as well as at most convenience stores.

How much do FFP2 face masks cost in Italy?

By law the maximum price that a shop may charge for such a face mask is 75c. In most places you can buy packs of 10 such masks for about €5.

Now make sure you don’t miss out: plan your visit in advance:

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Photo credit: AFP

Tickets in advance!

Because of ticket supply problems following the end of Covid restrictions, it is strongly advised that you buy tickets and tours in advance to visit attractions in Rome.

Buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment.