Carrying a face mask will remain mandatory in Spain after June 26th

by Deborah Cater
You must still carry a face mask in Spain from 26th June. Image by Jernej Furman from Flickr.com under creative commons license
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Leaving the house without a face mask is not an option from Saturday (26th June). Wearing a face mask in open spaces is still a requirement if you cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.

Minister Darias of Health said this in the Interterritorial Council last Wednesday. It is not known whether authorities will impose fines to people who cannot provide a mask on the street. The mask obligation in public indoor spaces and in public transport remains in force.

No more masks for residents of care institutions

Residents of intramural care institutions where more than 80% of residents are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a face mask. This now applies to almost all intramural institutions in Spain. The exemption does not apply to healthcare staff or visitors.

The mask obligation will also expire next Saturday in other service organisations where more than 80% of the employees are fully vaccinated. This would affect, for example, the fire brigade.

Casa Las Dunas Spain

The minister announced she would relax the mask obligation due to the current epidemiological course. Not only is the number of infections falling in Spain, the pressure on hospitals has also decreased sharply in recent weeks.

Slight increase in number of infections

Nevertheless, the number of infections in Spain rose slightly this week, but the course remains favourable. In the past 14 days, the incident rate was 92.59 per 100,000 inhabitants. It is the first time since April 26 there has been no decrease. On April 26, Spain was at the peak of the fourth corona wave and 235 people per 100,000 inhabitants received a positive test result.

Prediction: August 18, 70% of residents fully vaccinated

The favourable course since April is due to the successful vaccination campaign. On Wednesday, health workers gave a record 680,540 shots in 24 hours. More than half of Spaniards have now received their first vaccination; more than 15 million inhabitants have already been fully vaccinated. Minister Darias expects half  the population will be fully vaccinated by July 19 and 70% by August 18.

Autonomous regions urge periodic revision

Experts from the ministry and regional governments asked the minister to regularly review and adapt the mask rules. They want the government to take into account the covid incidence, IC occupancy and the population percentage which is fully vaccinated.

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