With increasing talk of a possible end to the wearing of masks outdoors, preventive medicine expert Joan Carles March is one who is calling for caution. He says that where the compulsory wearing of masks outdoors has been abandoned, there has been a higher rate of vaccination than in the Balearics; Israel is a prime example. "Ideally, 50 to 60 per cent of the population should have been vaccinated twice." In the Balearics, the figure at present is 29%.
March argues that there needs to be greater immunisation through two doses because of variants of concern. He also believes that there should be a 14-day cumulative incidence in Spain as a whole of fifty or lower - the national figure (as of June 15) is 101.39.
Stressing the need for caution, March adds that "we have to see what happens in the UK". "If tourists arrive in the Balearics from a country with such a high percentage of the Indian variant, not wearing a mask outdoors will be a risk. Remember last July, when everything started to go against us. The same won't happen again because the vaccination percentage is increasing day by day and the mortality rate has dropped very significantly, but we cannot throw away all that has been done."
Initially, he advocates, masks could be dispensed with when someone is on his or her own, with family or at a distance.
For his part, the director of the Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, has said that there could soon be a situation where it will be appropriate not to wear masks outdoors. He hasn't offered a date but has referred to the increase in the vaccination rate, to the decreases in the numbers of cases and hospitalisations, and also to the heat of summer.
* It would appear that the national public health commission did not consider, as had been expected, an ending to the compulsory wearing of masks outdoors at its meeting in Tuesday.