Check out our full list of countries that have gone mask-free as their residents and expats slowly return to pre-pandemic life
27 June 2021| Last updated on 27 June 2021
Wondering which countries have gone mask-free?
The day when we can finally rip off our face masks and breathe in fresh air without worries has become a standard dream for many expats worldwide.
As some countries continue to fight against Covid-19, there are a few places where its residents and expats are taking off the masks as they slowly return to life before the virus spread.
Here's our full list of countries where wearing masks is not mandatory, attributed to the low local infection rate, Covid testing, and percentage of the population getting vaccinated against the virus.
1. New Zealand
While many countries were registering hundreds of new Covid-19 cases a day back in early 2020, the people of New Zealand had very little to worry about.
The country's successful early response and governance during the pandemic has led New Zealand to go mask-free for months.
Pictured: Christchurch, New Zealand.
With the exception of when riding public transports, anyone in Denmark are no longer required to wear face masks from June 14.
As the Danish continue to ease their Covid-19 precautions and travel rules, the country is also working towards completely getting rid of the requirements to wear a mask.
Pictured: Stroget street in Copenhagen, Denmark
As of June 26, people in Spain are not required to wear face masks outdoors, as long as a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres is followed.
But while folks can go maskless, it's still mandatory to carry a face mask to all times, in case an individual finds themselves in a situation where they can't socially distance.
Pictured: Barcelona, Spain
From June 19, people in France can finally go mask free while outdoors (except in stadiums and outdoor public events). Masks, however, are still mandatory when entering shops, most offices and other workplaces, and while commuting in public transport.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex lifted the rule on wearing mandatory masks while in public, based on advice from public health experts and an easing in the number of Covid cases in hospitals across the country.
Pictured: Nice, France
5. South Korea
Over in South Korea, anyone who has received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will be permitted to remove their face masks while outdoors. This new rule is effective from July.
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced that once more than 70 per cent of South Korean residents are vaccinated with at least the first dose, all Covid-19 quarantine measures will be adjusted.
Pictured: Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea.
Fully vaccinated people in the US waved goodbye to wearing face masks, from May 13.
"Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing," said Rochelle Walensky, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pictured: New York, USA
Greece ended the requirement to wear face masks outdoors on June 24, while also easing other remaining restrictions imposed to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
With infections on the wane, authorities said wearing face masks will remain mandatory in indoor spaces, but not outdoors — except in congested places.
Pictured: Plaka district in Athens, Greece.
Starting June 26, people in Iceland were allowed to ditch their face masks, as well as physical distancing. As per new rules, the maximum number of people allowed at gatherings have also been waived.
“We are restoring the society we are used to living in and which we have longed for,” said Iceland's Minister of Health, Svandís Svavarsdóttir.
Pictured: Laugavegur in Reykjavik, Iceland.
All though China was the first country to get hit with Covid-19, rigorous testing, lockdowns, contact tracing, and an ongoing vaccination campaign has allowed residents and expats to go mask-free from mid-2020.
However, despite the relaxed rules on wearing masks, a large number of people in China continue to wear masks either as a personal precautionary measure, or due to social pressure. This is more common in busy cities such as Beijing.
This list will be updated as further news is announced.