This Wednesday, April 20 the mask is no longer 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? We try to answer the Frequently asked questions about the measure, which is already in force after being published in the Official State Gazette.
When will it be necessary to continue wearing the mask?
The mask will continue to be compulsory, for those over six years of age who work or visit hospitals, health centers and other medical and assistance centers, including pharmacies.
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 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 if they justify their needby characteristics of their workforce, the type of work they do, the difficulty in keeping their distance or the lack of adequate ventilation…
Do hospitalized people and those who live in residences have to wear it?
People who are admitted to hospitals should wear it 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.
The people who live in these residences They won’t have to use them. as has been the case for months, since “it is his home”, as Minister Carolina Darias has pointed out.
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. On the outer decks of ships, where interpersonal distance can be kept, he could already withdraw. The rule says that the mask is mandatory in “closed spaces” of ships and boats when it is not possible to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters, “except in cabins, when they are shared by groups of cohabitants.”
However, the royal decree does not specifically include that the mask must continue to be used inside stations, airports and on train and metro platforms. In fact, the preamble to the standard says: “It has been considered that this obligation to use the mask should not be maintained for passenger platforms and stations“.
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.
Will the mask continue to be compulsory in schools?
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.
Does the end of the use of masks indoors vary by autonomous community?
The rule of the masks is governed by a royal decree signed by the Minister of Health that affects all autonomous communities. In general, the regional governments have been in favor of a single standard for the entire country and have stated this in the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System.
Only Catalonia has advanced to the measure in schools. When the students return to classes after the Easter holidays, this Tuesday, they will no longer have to wear the masks. In the rest of the communities, it is from this Wednesday 20.
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 them to be worn 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…
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.