The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, announced on Wednesday that one of the most anticipated news since the beginning of the pandemic of coronavirus: the Government ends the obligatory use of masks indoors. It will be after Easter, next April 19, and the measure will take effect the next day, April 20.
The Executive of Pedro Sánchez takes this step because “fortunately” Spain has a “very high level of immunization” and an epidemiological situation “in a favorable context,” said Darias after the meeting of the Inter-territorial Health Council. The minister has highlighted the “lesser severity” of omicron, a dominant variant for months, as one of the reasons for the improvement.
The end of masks indoors will not be a generalized withdrawal, there will be exceptions. Its use will continue to be mandatory in hospitals or in public transport, although in other sectors, Sanidad will leave the decision to the companies.
The use of the masks indoors will continue in several cases to continue the protection against the coronavirus. Thus, its use will continue to be mandatory for health personnel, patients and visitors to health centers.
Those who have to be admitted must also maintain the measure in the common areas of hospitals. In nursing homes, due to their vulnerability, it will be mandatory for both staff working in them and visitors.
Public transport is another exception to the end of masks. Due to the difficulty of maintaining the distance of 1.5 meters between people, its use will remain mandatory, said Darias.
Finally, the Government leaves its use in enclosed spaces to individual discretion, especially when “there are crowds of people and when there are vulnerable people”. In the school setting, Darias rules out the use of masks, although teachers with vulnerability factors will be advised to wear them.