palma retirada mascarillas foto morey | Jason Moore

According to certain national media sources, the wearing of face masks indoors will no longer be mandatory from April 19, with the exception of hospitals, health centres and care homes. On public transport, masks will also still be obligatory.

It is understood that the national minister of health, Carolina Darias, has proposed this to regional health ministers at the Wednesday meeting of the Inter-Territorial Council for the National Health System in Toledo.

There had been talk that the requirement for masks indoors would be eliminated before Easter. It now seems, if this is confirmed, that it will be after Easter.

The Balearic health minister, Patricia Gómez, has indicated that the islands are prepared for the elimination of the mask requirement. "Masks have prevented many infections, but it is to be expected that people are tired of them." At present, there are 83 Covid patients on wards in the Balearics and twenty more in intensive care units. While understanding the desire to scrap the mask requirement, Gómez stresses that everyone "has to be on notice because there are many infections; we all have infected people around us".

Specialist in public health and preventive medicine, Joan Carles March, believes that the wearing of masks indoors should continue "until we see the lowest cumulative incidence". Despite his misgivings, he approves of waiting until after Easter.

Epidemiologist Maties Torrent has always argued that eliminating mask-wearing should wait until the weather improves. "April 19 is after Easter and we hope that the weather will have improved." He adds that it is very important that there is good ventilation and that masks continue to be used when people have any respiratory symptoms.