Israel has removed the obligation for wearing masks in open spaces. | Rayner Peña

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Spain is quite some way off being in a similar situation to that of Israel, where the obligation to wear masks in open spaces has been removed thanks to the country's far more advanced vaccination programme.

The view is that Spain should be able to follow suit some time in the summer. The president of the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene, Rafael Ortí, says that it will all depend on the speed of the vaccination. "I would like to believe that for the summer, in August, this will happen. Once fifty to seventy per cent of the population has been vaccinated, we will be able to take the masks off."

Julián Domínguez, head of the preventive medicine service at the Ceuta University Hospital and a fellow member of the society, agrees with Ortí. "This should happen by the end of the year at the very latest, when we have a population immunity of fifty or seventy per cent. If the cumulative incidence begins to decrease significantly, this would have to be considered; not for confined spaces and close distances, but in open public spaces."