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Monday, April 18, 2022

After April 20, where will masks be mandatory and where are they recommended?

Man in a mask

The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, says that the use of masks indoors from April 20, the date on which the obligation to wear them will be eliminated, will be down to "common sense" and he is convinced that many people will continue to use them. This Tuesday the Council of Ministers is going to approve a Royal Decree by which the use of masks will no longer be mandatory indoors. The measure will be effective the following day, Wednesday, April 20, when it's published in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

Although the specific sites in which their use will continue to be mandatory are not yet known, in the latest report on 'Positioning the Presentation of Alerts, Preparedness and Response Plans on the use of masks in interior spaces', to which Europa Press had access, the places where the mask after April 20 should be mandatory and the places where it will be recommended are indicated:

PLACES WHERE IT WILL BE MANDATORY TO WEAR A MASK AFTER APRIL 20:
  • When bringing workers and visitors from healthcare centres and hospitalized people when they are in shared spaces outside their room or in socio-health centres.
  • When travelling on public transport.

Likewise, the report advises against the use of masks by students in the school environment and to make responsible use of it among the vulnerable population in any situation in which they have prolonged contact with people at a distance of less than 1.5 meters; and teachers with vulnerability factors.

PLACES WHERE IT WILL BE RECOMMENDED TO WEAR A MASK AFTER APRIL 20:
  • In the workplace, the paper recommends using the mask whenever the work must be carried out at an interpersonal distance of less than 1.5 meters and adequate ventilation of the space cannot be guaranteed.
  • In the family environment, the mask is recommended at gatherings with friends and private celebrations.
  • The use of a mask is recommended in closed spaces for public use in which people transit, such as shops (shopping centres, supermarkets or small businesses); closed spaces where people spend time without eating or drinking (cinemas, theatres, concert halls and museums) and in closed spaces where people spend time eating and drinking (bars, restaurants and nightlife venues).

Given this, the President of the Government has commented, in an interview on Antena 3, reported by Europa Press, that the measures are going to be "common sense", confirming that they will continue to be mandatory in hospitals and on public transport.

THE MASK AFTER APRIL 20 MAY STILL BE MANDATORY IN SOME WORK CENTERS IF THE COMPANY DECIDED TO MAKE IT SO

Regarding its use in companies, Sánchez has indicated that it will be the occupational risk departments that decide in which spaces they must be used on a mandatory basis. "We are facing extraordinary news that is the result of an exemplary vaccination process in the world," he emphasized.

In addition, the President of the Executive has recalled that although the cumulative incidence of coronavirus infections is around 400 points, "a high rate compared to other variants", it is "lower" than that of other countries and hospitalization levels and occupancy of Intensive Care Units (ICU) is less than 4 percent. "All this has allowed us to make the decision to recommend the use of masks for general use indoors," he said.

However, Sánchez has commented that, in his opinion, “many people” are going to continue wearing it because the pandemic “continues to spread” and many people continue to die in the world. "Vaccination has been the turning point that allows us to make this decision," he concluded.

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