Two years of the mask with us: its see you later in the interiors?


EFE Madrid

They started out being mandatory only on public transport and now it will be one of the few places where they remain: masks, a visible shield against covid and the object, or one of them, of discord in the pandemic, are
about to disappear from most interiors.

tomorrow, the
Council of Ministers will approve a royal decree that will eliminate, as of Wednesday, the imposition of face masks in closed spaces, except health centers, services and establishments, including pharmacies, and public transport. In the works, the companies will decide.

Outside of that, the health authorities will establish a series of recommended uses that will not be part of the decree, as the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, advanced a few weeks ago.

Surgical, hygienic, FFP1, FFP2 and FPP3, disposable or reusable, washable, plain, printed, embroidered and even compostable... Masks have been installed in our lives for two years and at the epicenter of the debate.

From recommended...

Debate that began at the beginning: the global shortage at the dawn of the pandemic pushed Health to rule out their mandatory nature and only recommend them in a few cases for sick people, with symptoms or suspected of being infected.

Several people walk through Triana, in Gran Canaria, most of them wearing a mask. /

Juan Carlos Alonso

"It is not necessary among the healthy population," repeated Dr. Fernando Simón in March 2020 in his daily appearances at a press conference; The Government "is not going to demand anything that cannot be fulfilled" and, if it goes on to demand it, "it will always be counting on the fact that there is capacity to execute that measure," he said
in early april the then Minister of Health, Salvador Illa.

But the voices for making them mandatory in public spaces were getting louder and louder, so the
May 4ththe day that phase 0 of the de-escalation began throughout Spain, the first of them, the Executive imposed them on public transport, where he had been distributing them for days for free.

Then, they had already ceased to be a practically luxury good: the
April, the 21stHealth had set a maximum price of 0.96 for surgical to avoid abuse.

A mandatory in all public spaces

From "highly recommended" on public roads and necessary when it was not possible to keep two meters away, they became mandatory.
May 21th on "public roads, in outdoor spaces and in any closed space for public use or open to the public, provided that it is not possible to maintain an interpersonal safety distance of at least two meters," the BOE said.

Meanwhile, Spain continued to move towards the new normality in the unbridled race for de-escalation; but the opening inevitably brought the first outbreaks, and the communities' fear of a new wave in the middle of the summer campaign led them to gradually tighten the regulations, but not all in the same way.

This is how the summer of 2020
It will not be remembered in the same way by those who had to put on the mask on the beach, to the very shore, of those who did not have to.depending on where they were.

The mask also became mandatory on the beach. /

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The second wave that lasted until the fall ended up homogenizing the use of face masks indoors and outdoors, regardless of the distance, although the May order was still in force.

A new change but outdated

The new regulatory change came in March 2021, when the population was breathing again after the
violent wave of Christmass. That is why he was surprised that, with infections in free fall, the mask became mandatory outdoors, even when interpersonal distance could be respected.

The new law, the result of parliamentary work from the royal decree of new normality of June 2020, introduced this imposition because during its parliamentary process in the Senate, an amendment from the PSOE
established its obligation even with the safety distance.

"On public roads, in open-air spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public" is how the rule was finally drafted, which
gave rise to a cascade of different interpretations by the communities.

Some stopped requiring it on beaches and natural spaces for those who went alone or with others, but forced its use in social gatherings in those places, such as the Balearic Islands; others like Andalusia repeated the formula of the previous summer, so that
you had to put it on by the shore but not to be in the umbrella in groups of less than 6 people.

The outdoor mask was once again optional outdoors, as long as the distance was met. /

cover

Until on June 24 an extraordinary Council of Ministers lifted the obligation if there was a distance.

Back outside... and back outside

Six months lasted:
ómicron gave rise to the central and regional governmentswith the agreement of the Conference of Presidents,
return the mandatory nature of masks outdoors on December 23and this despite the fact that the scientific community flatly rejected the effectiveness of this measure to contain the contagious virulence of the new variant.

The text was validated a month later in Congress; The controversy was fueled again, because the reticence about a cosmetic measure was joined by the fact that it was included in the decree that updated the so-called "paguilla" for pensioners.

All this so that, not even a week later, the Interterritorial Council came up with a new agreement by which,
As of February 9, it was no longer necessary to wear the mask outdoors except in crowded events where you are standing or when there is no safety distance if you were sitting.

the penultimate chapter

As of Wednesday, it will not have to be worn in most interiors either; while waiting to know the definitive text of which the last details are still being polished, it will only be necessary to put it in "those spaces in which there may be
vulnerable people», as Carolina Darias has been reiterating.

That is to say, workers and visitors of assistance and social health centers -especially, residences for the elderly-, but not residents and in transport, while in other places it will be a "responsible use recommendation, especially when there are crowds and when it comes to vulnerable people”.

ESO students in an institute in the capital of Gran Canaria. /

Juan Carlos Alonso

Students will no longer have to use it at schoolalthough it is recommended that teachers with vulnerability factors wear it, as well as other people with these same conditions
in which they cannot maintain 1.5 meters of interpersonal distance.

in work centers,
it will be the occupational risk prevention services that value italthough the paper recommends wearing it when the interpersonal distance is less than 1.5 meters and adequate ventilation cannot be guaranteed.

Likewise, in other closed spaces for public use such as shops, cinemas, theaters, concert halls, museums, bars, restaurants or nightlife venues, among others, what they recommend is "responsible use", as in the environment family, gatherings of friends and private celebrations.

Will there be more changes? The Government does not rule it out, and even some counselor is already talking about the opportunity to resume it in winter. But, for now, on April 20, whoever wants to remove the mask, he will be able to do so. And whoever wants to continue wearing it, too.



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