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Covid: compulsory use of masks outside could be relaxed, Spanish government looks to ease restrictions

Jack Troughton | May 18, 2021
Blue Surgical Protective Masks

PANDEMIC health measures – including the compulsory wearing of masks outdoors – could be relaxed in the coming days thanks to the success of the vaccination programme.

Government chief epidemiologist Fernando Simón said as the Covid-19 data
improves and immunisation of the public proceeds, the health ministry was
considering reducing measures introduced in the battle against contagion.

Simón, director of the coordination centre for health alerts, told a press conference “it is very possible” the obligation to wear a mask outside would be revised “in just a few days” but did not give an exact date.

It was easy to make clear proposals over masks, he said; but warned other measure were likely to continue.

Across Spain, the 14-day incidence of Covid – a barometer of contagion – has fallen to 152 per 100,000 people. At under 150, the country will have moved from ‘high’ to ‘medium’ risk.

It is a level the government has specified would be necessary before removing the obligation to wear a mask outside. It is not yet clear whether this would be a nationwide removal of the measure or across individual regions – some have much lower rates of infection.

“Giving dates is not a good idea,” Simón said. But giving situations is. In a month we will have very favourable figures for the reduction of a lot of measures – some could be reduced before, provided others are kept in place.”