FACEMASKS will no longer be compulsory in indoor public spaces from 20 April with the exception of public transport, health centres and care homes, according to reports in Spanish media.
Spanish Health Minister, Carolina Darias, told journalists today (Tuesday) that the change in the law would be voted on 19 April, and come into force the following day once it appeared in the BOE (the official document where laws are published). Previously Darias had met with regional health ministers of the CISNS (Consejo Interterritorial del Sistema Nacional de Salud) and she said there had been “almost unanimity” among those in the CISNS.
Compulsory facemask wearing is the one remaining covid restriction after most others were dropped at the end of February, and, although there are still some details to sort out, Darias was confident that the measure would be voted through by ministers on 19 April without problems, according to reports by News Agency Europa Press. Compulsory face-coverings have already been dropped in many other European countries, like the UK, France and Germany.
Darias recommended that face-coverings should not be worn in school settings, something which will be welcomed by many teachers, especially those in early-years education where facial expression is so important and many of the youngest children won’t remember a time before facemasks. Meanwhile, in workplaces, the use of facemasks is recommended when 1.5m cannot be maintained and suitable ventilation is not available, although it will be at the discretion of the individual company’s health and safety departments. Responsible facemask use by the individual is recommended when visiting vulnerable people where a distance of 1.5m cannot be maintained
“Thanks to the very high levels of immunisation in the population, the epidemiological situation is currently favourable.” Darias told journalists.
“We have sought consensus. There were those who wanted to go faster and those who wanted to go slower, but we are all going to go hand in hand, because together we can make better progress and go further.”
Some regions, Catalonia and Madrid had been pushing for the change in restrictions although others, like Andalucia and Extremadura would have preferred the measure to stay in place just a little longer.