Masks will no longer be a requirement, but some people will still want them. | Nekane Domblás

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The Balearics director of public health, Maria Antònia Font, says that she is not surprised by the announcement that the wearing of masks indoors will no longer be mandatory from April 20. Her preference, however, would have been for this to have been staggered, starting with mask-wearing in schools.

At the Wednesday meeting of the Inter-Territorial Council for the National Health System, it is understood that Catalonia and Madrid were among regions pressing for the requirement to be dropped before Easter. Other regions, notably Andalusia and Valencia, were against this because of large gatherings of people over the Easter holiday. In this regard, Font explains that "this didn't matter to us (in the Balearics)" as there aren't the same sorts of crowds as in those regions over Easter. She adds that the Balearic government was "waiting for a decision to be adopted by the majority (of regions)".

Font notes that removing the requirement for people with Covid symptoms to self-isolate was a development that the government viewed with caution. Nevertheless, "the downward trend in infections continues". As to masks, "we will launch a series of recommendations for them to be used in closed spaces and also in open spaces where there are crowds". "Each person can decide." There is still community transmission, "so it is better that we protect ourselves". "We are seeing combinations of Omicron and its stealth variant, which are more transmissible but less serious."