Publication: Wednesday April 28, 2021 11:47
Will the use of outdoor masks change? After the recent announcement by the United States to allow vaccinated people not to wear masks outside, the debate is reaching our country as well. The president of the Community of Madrid called for the reopening of the debate on the use of the mask in open spaces. In an interview with Onda Cero, Díaz Ayuso defended that “when a person is vaccinated, he can do without a mask”. A decision which nevertheless leaves in the hands of the ministry, even if it considers that the debate on the mask in open spaces must be on the table.
A few weeks ago, the director of the CCAES Fernando Simón explained that the obligatory nature of the mask on the outside “is discussed within the Interterritorial Council to make the proposals that must be made and to be able to make the modifications which, I think, make common sense “.
Precisely this afternoon, Health and Communities meet at the Interterritorial Health Council, the penultimate before the state of alert declines on May 9, with the vaccination process in full swing but still with questions about the second doses and the arrival of compromised sera. Twelve days after the end of the state of alert, some communities will propose the modification of certain laws in order to have legal instruments allowing them to decree closures of perimeters and curfews. It is also not excluded that the debate on the mask is on the table. Measures of particular interest to communities that have a coastline and that have defended that it is not compulsory to wear a mask on beaches if there is a safe distance.
Some statements, those of Ayuso, which come after the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control raised the possibility of reducing the use of the mask in people already vaccinated or at lower risk.
After these recommendations, the Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, also asked the government of Sánchez to be reviewed because “it is immune to reduce the use of the mask”.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated their recommendations on the use of masks. Thus, people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to do without its use outdoors in certain situations: if they walk, run or cycle alone or accompanied by people from their family nucleus.
Likewise, they can also pull it off when dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from various family nuclei. In the case of small social gatherings held indoors, the use of the mask with friends and family can also be omitted with the full schedule or, failing that, if there is a mix between vaccinated and unvaccinated.
But not all experts are in favor of starting to get rid of this protective measure against COVID-19. José Antonio López, director of neurovirology at UAM, stressed in Más Vale Tarde a few days ago that he hopes these recommendations will not be followed. “With the vaccination rates that we have in Spain or in Europe, my advice would be to be careful and wait. We are not going to speed up the procedures that we have already seen where the bad de-escalation has led us after the first wave, “he stressed.
In addition, the virologist recalled that the vaccines “are not sterilizing”, therefore they “do not prevent the transmission of the virus”. Of course, he points out that there is data which shows that the virus is transmitted less among groups already vaccinated, “because people with more symptoms transmit the virus for longer”.
For her part, Minister Darias asked the PP to adopt a “sound policy”, referring to the continued criticism of the executive’s measures. He also defends that decisions concerning the national health system continue to be taken within the Interterritorial Council from the point of co-governance.