Masks May Not Be Mandatory Very Soon, says Top Spanish Health Official

Spain Sends Aid To Nepal In Fight Against Covid. Photo credit: Pixabay

The director of the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simon, said it might be possible “very soon” to stop wearing masks.
The masks, which are mandatory in outdoor spaces across Spain, were introduced to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in 2020. But if the incidence of infection continues to fall, they could become a thing of the past, Simon, Spain top epidemiologist, said.
“It is very possible that outside measures, such as the use of masks can be relaxed in a few days,” he said at a press conference on May 17.
“It’s not good to give dates, it’s good to give epidemiological situations. With the data we have, we can predict when it is possible for that situation to occur. We are evolving very well, with very good vaccination coverage. In a month the immunisation figures will put us in a very favourable position to reduce some measures, as long as others are maintained, but we have to go step by step. We still do not have an incidence rate, vaccination coverage or community immunity high enough to relax personal protection measures,” he said.
Decisions will have to be made on a case-by-case basis, he added.
“There are many alternatives with the mandatory nature of masks now that there is a hyper-vaccinated group, like in residences. Obviously different measures can be proposed for groups where vaccination coverage is 30 percent compared to 60 percent as in those over 60 years of age,” he said.
“It is possible that some measures, such as the relaxation of outdoor masks, can be applied to the whole territory. As we increase immunisation, the situation throughout the country is becoming more homogenous, but there are still important differences when it comes to making decisions,” he concluded.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.