End of mask indoors: Questions and answers





On April 20 the mask will no longer be mandatory in interior spacesexcept in health centers, social health centers and means of transport.

Measure has small print and, after two years of always wearing it at work, in stores, at the movies or in class, many have doubts about the changes.

When do I have to keep wearing it? Can they impose it at my job? Should I keep wearing it if I have COVID? What happens if there are people at risk in a class? Waiting to know all the details of the royal decree that the Council of Ministers will approve, we try to respond to the Frequently asked questions.

When will it be necessary to continue wearing the mask?

The mask will continue to be mandatory for workers and visitors of hospitals, health centers and other medical and assistance centers.

Similarly, it will continue to require employees and visitors of the residences and other social health centers when they are in the shared areas.

Finally, it will continue to be mandatory in the public transport.

Do hospitalized people and those who live in residences have to wear it?

People who are admitted must put it on when they leave their room and go to shared spaces with other people, who might be vulnerable to severe COVID.

“A person who is hospitalized, when they are in a common space outside their room, will have to continue wearing a mask to protect vulnerable people,” said the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias.

Do you always have to carry it on public transport?

The mask will continue to be mandatory in public transport, such as buses, subways, planes or trains. At the moment, and waiting for the royal decree to be published with all the details of the rule, there are no new exceptions. On the outer decks of ships where interpersonal distance can be kept, it could already be withdrawn.

I am positive for COVID, do I have to wear the mask?

People who have COVID-19 should continue to wear the mask during “ten days from diagnosis” of the disease, the minister recalled.

Experts call for using it during that reasonable time, even if the symptoms are already mild, because it could be just as contagious.

And at school?

The mask will no longer be mandatory in any circumstance in schools, institutes and other educational centers. The technicians of the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities have highlighted this issue, although they do recommend that the entire vulnerable population use it when the safety distance cannot be maintained. This recommendation, therefore, applies to teachers who have risk conditions.

Do I have to wear the mask if my company decides?

The mask will no longer be mandatory indoors by law, but the prevention services of each company or institution “have the power to decide on the appropriate preventive measures to protect the health of workers,” Rafael Ortí, president of the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, reminds TVE.

Those responsible for occupational health in each center can make the decision to maintain the mandatory nature of the mask for the characteristics of their workforce or the type of work they do.

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Can they demand it in stores, supermarkets, in the cinema or in the theater?

The end of the mandatory mask affects all public spaces such as shops, supermarkets, shopping malls, cinemas, theaters, bars or restaurants, and it applies to everyone. However, employers may require wearing them in their businesses based on their Admission rights.

Since the mask would no longer be mandatory, in general, the Ministry of Health has urged to do a “responsible use” in some situations: in workstations, when there is no good ventilation and little distance between people; in closed spaces where there may be crowds, such as in shopping malls, supermarkets or stores; and in other establishments where we spend a lot of time: cinemas, theaters, museums, bars, restaurants…


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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