Technology

When can we take the mask off on the outside? Maybe this summer

Posted: Wednesday May 12 2021 12:31 PM

The debate opens on the possibility of going abroad without a mask this summer. The last to raise it was the president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo. He believes that if the Galician population continues to behave “with the caution that the situation advises”, masks will no longer be compulsory outdoors within two months.

“If we all continue for the next six, eight weeks, with the caution that the situation advises, I am convinced that in July and August we will start putting a face on everyone we see on the street again. He said. However, the Galician president clarified that this measure will not be extended to “closed places”, but abroad, which, according to him, people “want”.

Is it viable?

This is something that is on the health table, as LaSexta confirms. There is a will, and it is under consideration, always taking the de-escalation schedule as a benchmark. This measure, if it happens, would be taken when it reached between 50% and 70% immunity in Spain. That would mean that date would come before the 100 days that – Sánchez said on Monday – remain for group immunity. According to government forecasts, this summer, at the end of August, 70% of the population will be vaccinated.

Simon has already said

Fernando Simón, director of the Health Ministry’s Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center, said a month ago that it was “common sense” to change these regulations. Simón assured that autonomies and health were already discussing the measure. In addition, he indicated that the Interterritorial Council was going to take “a measure with the Minister to proceed to a modulation of this specific article”.

Carolina Darias, Minister of Health, two days later removed the mandatory nature of masks in spaces such as beaches, swimming pools or aquatic areas. However, he is still out for a walk along the shore. While it hasn’t been to everyone’s satisfaction, it’s a move that paves the way for more flexible use of masks.

Following the example of other territories

A little over a month ago, Israel lifted the requirement to wear masks outside. The Hebrew country reached 60% of the population vaccinated with a serum and 53% had already received the full regimen. With a national average of 200 infections per day and only 200 serious hospitalizations, the territory has said goodbye to outdoor masks.

Poland is another example, but it falls far short of Israel’s numbers. The territory, which is now facing its de-escalation – opening of stores in shopping centers, face-to-face classes, resumption of activity in bars and restaurants abroad – will eliminate the compulsory nature of masks on May 15. Poland has 8% of the vaccinated population.

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