Andalucia wants facemasks worn outdoors again

by Lorraine Williamson
facemasks outdoors in Andalucia

SEVILLE – The Andalucian government has asked the Ministry of Health for the region to make the use of facemasks outdoors mandatory again. This is in response to the increase in corona infections and in the run-up to the holidays. 

Current data shows sharply increasing infection numbers. Therefore, with many people gathering during the holiday period, the regional authorities want to reintroduce the outdoor mask obligation. 

Minister Aguirre posed the question on Wednesday during the meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System. This is where the central government and the autonomous communities participate. 

“Already immersed in sixth wave” 

At the meeting, Aguirre justified the request as we are already “immersed in the sixth wave” of the coronavirus pandemic. And, the number of cases is increasing daily. However, currently, the Andalucian incidence of 14 days is still below the national average. 

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The minister indicated that the Council is conducting a “continuous battle”. This is so the Ministry of Health takes note and understands it is necessary to reintroduce facemasks outdoors. Even if the safety distance of one and a half metres between people can be maintained, this can change. Moreover, he indicated it will be very difficult to maintain that distance on dates during the festive season when there are significant concentrations of people celebrating Christmas holiday events. 

One of the “most powerful weapons” 

According to the advisor, the mask – which is still mandatory in indoor public spaces -, along with vaccination, is one of the “most powerful weapons” to prevent cases of contamination from coronavirus or other respiratory diseases, especially in this cold season. 

Supreme Court rejects Covid certificate for Andalucia 

Aguirre also said the use of masks outdoors is becoming even more important after it was announced yesterday that the Supreme Court of Andalucia (CJA) in Granada has rejected the request for the importation of the Covid certificate or diagnostic test for access to indoor space of catering, leisure, and hospitality establishments. 

Pandemic law to prevent ambiguity 

Following this, Aguirre has urged the Inter-Territorial Council on the need for a specific pandemic law to provide a clear legislative framework so that there are no “ups and downs” in the judgments of the courts in the different autonomous regions. Indeed, in some areas, the same measures are approved that are rejected in other regions. 

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