From tomorrow Maharashtra state in India has announced the withdrawal of all restrictions and made mask voluntary. This follows a similar pattern throughout the world where restrictions are being removed. But the question that many have is whether it is the right time to go this further with removal.
The question will be having a dynamic answer, as there are countries where cases are still rising or reversing from the lowest numbers. The restrictions and they're being put and withdrawn will be dynamic as well but there is no question that variants have not peaked.
It is because some countries face higher summer waves and some face a brutal winter waves. India at both times faced a stronger summer wave. Currently, the second shot immunity is in the six months for the majority of the population thus less brutal winter has passed us by. But this has no reason to remove the mask mandate because as the transmission increases during summer, there will be a higher risk of a new wave with a new variant.
The problem will become when the mandate and restrictions are needed to be re-imposed in the month of June-July. This will result in resistance on many fronts but it might also result in a delay of restrictions creating a brutal summer possibility.
The move for such removals is only better when one full two cycles of the wave have gone by and the variants have been able to stagnate for two to three cycles.
It might be not appropriate for governments to make feel the pandemic is over and living with it has no rules cause the reversal will become difficult to execute when needed.