Thursday, September 21

The Government is studying whether to keep the mask in some interior spaces

The removal of the mask indoors in Spain may not apply to all spaces. The Government is studying whether to maintain it in certain places, according to the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, at the end of the informal summit of European Union leaders in Versailles. “Using public transport is not the same as being inside a meeting without a mask,” said Sánchez, who admits that he remains to see “in what cases” and “what situations” he will be able to remove it.

Although it was announced that the end of the measure would come “very soon”, the Executive is waiting for the incidence to be reduced a little more to make the decision while attentively observing the small rebound in transmission in some autonomous communities. The decline of the sixth wave has stalled in recent days. “Let’s see if this month we can lower it completely [la incidencia] and have a scenario comparable to other countries that have made the decision with higher incidences,” he explained to the press.

Sánchez already slipped the possibility of only a partial removal of the face masks in a huddle with journalists last Tuesday in Latvia. And the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, warned on Thursday, after the meeting with the regional councilors, that it was not only necessary to agree on the “when” to end the use of a mask indoors, but also the “how”.

The use of the mask does not depend on the autonomous communities, like other restrictions, but is regulated by a royal decree that regional governments must abide by. The latest decisions regarding the face mask, such as the reimplantation outdoors and later the withdrawal when the sixth wave descended, were made without prior support or recommendation from the Alerts Committee, made up of the Health technicians and the communities. There was, yes, a demand from some communities that claimed it. It remains to be seen what path the Government takes to remove the garment indoors, if it consults with the Speaker, with the communities, with both or neither.

In the Interterritorial Council there are already several communities that have requested to make the use of the mask more flexible, at least in schools and others think that it is soon. Catalonia wants to speed up and Andalusia wants schoolchildren to be able to return to school from the Easter holidays without face masks. Both territories defended this proposal at the councilors’ meeting with Minister Carolina Darias a week ago. Madrid has also been publicly in favor of relaxing its use. In this Thursday’s meeting in Zaragoza, however, the mask was left off the agenda.