Ascot, competition not only for the most original hat but also for the mask
From today you can walk outdoors without a mask, unless you are in a particularly crowded place, such as at a public transport stop or at the entrance to a post office. The long-awaited “liberation” from the rectangle of fabric that has been with us for a year and a half now, however, creates a curious problem of interpretation of the numerous laws that regulate the behavior of Italians.
Let’s take a step back. Before the pandemic broke out, the Lombardy Region and some other local administrations had taken steps to prohibit circulation with the face covered. These decisions were accompanied by vibrant controversy, as many considered them a form of discrimination against people of the Islamic religion and in particular against the use of the burqa and niqab by women. In an explicit manner, the resolution of the Lombard council no. X / 4553 of 10.12.2015, with President Roberto Maroni, originated from the need to prevent terrorism, with clear reference to the fears towards Muslims following theSept. 11.
The judiciary, however, agreed with the Lombardy Region: in 2019 the Court of Cassation established that this provision it was not discriminatory and that instead it was correct to highlight the impossibility of identifying a person, as with the face covered, also recalling the law 152/1975 (so-called Royal law, from the name of its author), which already in the lead years prohibited the use of helmets, scarves and foulards to “make it difficult to recognize the person, in a public place or open to the public without justified reason“. A specification, the latter, of fundamental importance, because it is obvious that a motorcyclist driving his vehicle has not only the right, but the must, to wear a helmet which, to protect it, makes it unrecognizable.
Shortly after the ruling of the Supreme Court, the pandemic and, with it, the need to equip ourselves with masks to prevent contagion from Covid-19. No one has kept in mind the prohibition of covering the face and in any case the aforementioned specification on the “justified reason” fell perfectly on the specific case: even in public places, where it was usually mandatory to be identifiable, health reasons of force majeure required the mask obligation.
The they imposed, in fact. From today the obligation no longer exists and therefore everyone is free to do what they wantis. But this, as we said, poses some interpretative problems. Even where there are no gatherings, anyone can decide to wear the mask anyway, perhaps because immunosuppressed, because he has a respiratory tract disease or simply because he continues to be afraid of the Coronavirus, which must be respected. Or, to be specifically Lombard, because there are levels of smog, a case that further complicates the reasoning.
For this reason, it is very likely to be in the situation where there are two people next to each other, one with a mask and one with a burqa. Who should be fined? Only the first? Only the second? None of the two? Or both? We bet that in the first case of a fine to a woman with a burqa there will be an appeal because those who wear the mask – by their choice – are not fined? And if some jokey came up with a FFP2 burqa, capable of filtering out the virus particles?
There are therefore all the conditions for the usual Italian pie, why now the elements to raise a suspicion of discrimination are there: if you can doubt that a terrorist can hide behind an Islamic veil, why not think that a robber can hide behind a mask? Or do we really think that no one will take advantage of the opportunity to cover their face? In short, perhaps it is really the case to reconsider the rule, which otherwise risks being inapplicable.