Masks will still be obligatory indoors. | Europa Press

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On Wednesday, the amendment to the decree governing the wearing of face masks was published in the Official Bulletin of State. Following agreement of the Inter-Territorial Council for the National Health System and approval by the cabinet, the amendment will apply from Thursday. Masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors, with certain exceptions.

One is for large outdoor events where people stand or, if they are seated, where a safe distance of at least 1.5 metres cannot be maintained. Another is at public transport waiting points, e.g. train station platforms. Essentially, masks remain obligatory for public transport, as they must in any event be worn inside trains and buses, etc. The government's announcement makes clear that masks continue to be compulsory in any enclosed space for public use or that is open to the public.

The relaxation of this measure should be assessed at an individual level, according to vulnerability and potentially increased risk of transmission.

The decree notes that mask-wearing has been a key measure in controlling Covid, adding that available evidence on transmission indicates that the use of masks has a greater impact in interior spaces, such as where there are crowds of people and safe distance cannot be maintained.

It further refers to SARS-CoV-2 variants currently in circulation appearing to produce a less severe clinical environment. This has led to a modification of the assessment of the Covid epidemic situation as was observed in December and January.

Wearing masks outdoors has made it possible to relax other measures with a greater socioeconomic impact and to maintain greater social interaction. The decree amendment highlights the fact that recommendations and obligations for the use of masks have been adapted to knowledge of the disease and, above all, to the evolution of the epidemic and the need to control transmission.