Spanish government to eliminate mask mandate indoors after Easter
The measure will come into force on Wednesday 20 April
MadridThe Spanish government will eliminate the mandate to wear masks indoors after Easter. The measure will be passed on April 19, according to Efe news agency. However, there will be exceptions: they will still be mandatory in hospitals, old people's homes and on public transport. This Tuesday the public health commission met, and its experts proposed that the mask mandate stay in place until Easter, and even then stay in force in certain places. This Wednesday afternoon the inter-territorial health council is to meet, and the new measure should receive its approval.
Catalonia had already asked for the mask mandate indoors to be lifted. In the middle of March, Health minister Josep Maria Argimon had requested it. "The masks are a symbol of covid and I believe we have to normalise it. And if things don't go well, we¡ll take the necessary steps back as we have done before and explain what happened," Argimon said in an interview with ARA. In fact, Catalonia had already raised the issue in previous inter-territorial health councils. Madrid regional government, on the other hand, has requested that the measure be effective "now" because people are already living a "normal life" in practice and masks indoors "are no longer effective as a control measure".
This Wednesday, the Catalan Department of Health has issued a statement explaining that this Tuesday it sent a letter to the Ministry of Health to ask it eliminate the use of face masks in schools, but maintain them in the "health and social-health environments and also on public transport". Argimon will not participate in the interterritorial council this afternoon because he has to attend the plenary of the Catalan Parliament and his presence cannot be delegated.