Will a facemask still be compulsory in Spanish schools, institutes and universities from 20 April?

by Lorraine Williamson
facemask no longer complusory

MADRID – A facemask will no longer be compulsory in classrooms but is recommended for vulnerable people, whether they are students or teachers. 

The relaxation announced by the Ministry of Health for the use of mouth masks indoors includes a number of exceptions. From 19 April – after a vote in the Spanish Council of Ministers – the regulation will be published in the Official Gazette BOE. It will then enter into force. However, in some places, such as health centres and public transport, wearing a mouth mask remains compulsory. 

Education centres 

In education centres, since February, it has not been necessary to wear a facemask in the schoolyard. This is because it is an open space. From 20 April, in schools, colleges, institutes and universities, it is no longer compulsory to wear the mouth mask in classrooms, corridors or communal areas. 

Role for regional ministry 

Schools must abide by the rule. In exceptional circumstances, such as a high rate of infection in the area, the educational institution should propose to the regional ministry that the use of facemasks be made compulsory again. It will then be up to the regional ministry of the autonomous community to respond. And, furthermore, to indicate whether or not the use of the mouth mask should be enforced. 

Recommended for people at risk 

The specialists from the Ministry of Health and the Autonomous Communities do, however, recommend the use of the facemask for vulnerable people. This would be whether they are students or teachers in high-risk conditions. In the report of the Public Health Commission, they insist on ‘responsible use’. When the recommendations for ventilation or crowding are not met, the facemask should be used, experts advise. Also, people who contract COVID-19 should wear the mask for ten days after infection. Even with mild symptoms, to prevent the spread of the disease. 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Catalonia wants to get rid of the mouth mask faster 

The spokeswoman of the Catalan government, Patricia Plaja, has announced that the Generalitat will publish a resolution so that pupils of compulsory education centres (primary and secondary) will no longer have to wear the mask from Tuesday 19 April. This is one day before the rest of the country. 

The Catalan government believes that it makes ‘little sense’ to make schoolchildren wear a hard hat on Tuesday and no longer on Wednesday. Plaja has ensured that the resolution will be implemented by the legal services. 

And outside of education? 

The mouth mask remains compulsory for employees and visitors in care centres, hospitals, and health centres. It will also be compulsory for people admitted to shared rooms or social health centres. Furthermore, in public transport, the facemask also remains compulsory. For other places, there is a recommendation for responsible use, where crowds may occur, explained Health Minister Carolina Darias. 

Also read: Facemask obligation to end

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