"The epidemiological situation in the Azores now allows us to monitor the measures enacted at national level regarding the end of mandatory use of masks in airplanes and pharmacies," said Subsecretary of the Regional Presidency, Pedro Faria Castro.

The governor presented on 2 September, at the Conceição Palace in Ponta Delgada, the deliberations of the Regional Government Council (PSD/CDS-PP/PPM), which met on Thursday.

The Government approved on 25 August, in the Council of Ministers, the end of some measures still in force, including the mandatory use of masks in pharmacies and public transport, and the change in rules was announced by the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, in a press conference at the end of the meeting.

The end of the mandatory use of masks in public transport and community pharmacies came into force last Saturday, according to the decree-law published on 26 August, which states that the "decree-law comes into force on the day following its publication".

Given the "new national legislation", the Azorean Government decided to eliminate the obligation to wear masks on planes and in pharmacies, since the use of masks was no longer compulsory in land and sea transport in the region.

"Resulting from the assessment that is made in the Azores and in line with what was decided at national level, the [Regional] Government understood that it must connect with the entry into force of national legislation. As the national legislation came into force on 27 August," he explained.

According to the latest available data, since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 119,529 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Azores, 118,651 recoveries and 117 deaths. There are 218,383 people in the region with the full Covid-19 vaccination (92.4%) and 128,589 (54%) with the booster dose.