Sanidad studies to leave the use of masks indoors in the hands of companies
The government is considering leaving it to the companies to decide whether or not workers wear the mask during their working day while in their facilities, according to the report of the Alerts, Preparation and Response Plans of the Ministry of Health that at the moment is only a draft-
In particular, the Paper recommends that the need for the use of masks in the working environment be assessed by occupational risk prevention services on the basis of the results of a specific risk assessment. Its use is recommended whenever the work must be carried out at interpersonal distance of less than 1.5 meters and the adequate ventilation of the space cannot be guaranteed.
However, in other closed environments where there is a large influx of people and distances can be reduced -such as cinemas, theaters or concert halls-, Sanidad appeals to the “responsible use” of the mask, although it recognizes that they are spaces in which “the risk of transmission without a mask can be high”.
In these spaces, a large population can be concentrated, with little interpersonal distance, sometimes for several hours. Although many of these spaces have excellent ventilation systems equipped with high efficiency filters, this ventilation is not always guaranteed. It is for this reason that, in this area, the probability of transmission in the absence of a mask can be high and the impact could be moderate, taking into account the diversity of exposed people, among which there could be vulnerable. In these spaces, the Presentation of Alerts, Preparation Plans and Response recommends the responsible use of the mask in enclosed spaces where people stay a long time without eating or drinking.
On the other hand, the Presentation of Alerts, Preparedness and Response Plans recommends not using the mask in the school setting.
According to health experts with the use of the mask in schools “emotional mimicry, empathy and emotionality in general are reduced, which has important repercussions in the school environment, in the generation of the bond between teachers and students, the cohesion of the group and learning”.
Although at the moment it is only a draft, the technicians of the ministry are inclined that the new rules on the use of the mask indoors begin after Easter weekend.
The Presentation of Alerts and Preparedness and Response Plans considers the modifications that are being implemented in the surveillance and control of COVID-19 should be carried out progressively and consistently, proposes that any changes to the rules for the use of masks take effect after Easter 2022.