The use of facemasks outdoors is to return to Spain after the president announced to the autonomous communities he will approve a decree-law tomorrow, Thursday 23 December. Mandatory masks outside have not been part of the Covid-19 response for six months but will be returned as the infection rate continues to rise.
The previous decree required masks to be worn by all people above the age of six in public spaces and any enclosed space for public use or open to the public. Certain exceptions were allowed for individuals including those with respiratory difficulties, disabled people who could not use masks and those involved in outdoor sporting activities.
Sánchez is reacting to the request of many regional presidents who have called for the return of facial coverings in reaction to the new spike in coronavirus cases. Leaders from Castile and Leon, Navarra, Andalucia, Castile-La Mancha, Valencia, Galicia, the Basque Country, the Canary Islands and Catalonia have all backed the move.
Beyond the recall of mandatory masks outside, Sanchez has ruled out other restrictions that could have been ordered by decree and that several regional governments wanted to re-introduce. These included setting capacity limits in hospitality settings and bringing back curfews in commerce situations.
The blanket night curfew and any thought to a new state of alarm have been squashed. The Central Executive has firmly said that no new SOA can be enforced that affects fundamental rights, and strict measures such as perimeter closure and limitations on family gatherings and worship will not be reintroduced. This is due to the high vaccination rate that Sapin currently holds removing the need for such measures.
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