The Spanish Health Ministry is re-introducing compulsory face masks on Wednesday with the aim of equalising protection against the resurgence of respiratory viruses, according to ministry sources led by Mónica García.
This decision was taken under Article 65 of the Law on the Cohesion and Quality of the National Health System’. This regulates the declaration of coordinated actions in public health and ‘obliges all parties’ included in it.
The measure will thus be implemented throughout the national territory. This is despite the fact that at the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) convened on Monday, the majority of autonomous regions expressed their disagreement with this compulsory use of face masks in health centres and hospitals. At the time, it failed to reach an agreement.
Deadline for communities
Wednesday 10 January is the deadline for the various communities to present their allegations on the proposal sent to them by the Health Ministry on Monday to resume the compulsory use of masks in health centres. So far, only six communities have accepted the proposal: Catalonia, Valencia, Aragon, Murcia, the Canary Islands and Asturias.
‘We have given the regions 48 hours to present their views and we will study them. But if there is no other agreement, we must protect the citizens and communities that have already imposed the measure,’ Mónica García’s entourage explained.
García already raised the intention of her ministry taking this measure after failing to reach an agreement on Monday. In a video to the media, she stressed the need to give ‘legal support’ to autonomous communities ‘of different political colours’ that have already introduced the compulsory mask in health centres.
Scientific evidence and popular support
According to the minister, this is an ‘effective, sensible measure, supported by scientific evidence and well received by the population’. ‘After the pandemic, we have learnt. From this ministry, we will continue to work on minimising risks and standardising health protection,’ she said.