The Ministry of Health proposes to end use of masks indoors at Easter
In the last few weeks, we have heard the answers "soon", "very soon", and "sooner rather than later" from the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, when asked when the mandatory use of masks indoors will be abolished. Today we are being told that Tuesday 12th April is the most probable date that this will be decreed after being agreed in the Interterritorial Council meeting in Toledo on Wednesday, then approved by the Council of Ministers next week.
In principle, the Interterritorial Council is not going to debate the measure, although there has been a change in the agenda of the meeting as several communities have already warned that they will demand that the Ministry of Health take this decision now.
However, the Ministry already has a date marked in red, April 12th, which in Spain is Holy Tuesday. That day will be two weeks since the start of the new management of the pandemic and the monitoring of serious cases, over 60s, and hospitalizations will begin to be seen, the indicators that since last Monday influences the decisions of the Ministry.
Public Health plans to prepare a document on the country's epidemiological situation for that day, and if the conclusions are positive, the decision could be made quickly.
However, if the data is going to govern the decision, then it isn’t guaranteed that masks will go. In last Tuesday's report, the last complete one of the pandemic, the 7-day incidence rate rose to 466.51 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, nine times more than the 50 cases that the Government considers a marker of the new normality.
In Friday's update, the incidence in people over 60 years of age (the only one that is going to be measured now), it stood at 459.27 cases and although some markers, such as the seven-day incidence, point to a drop, this decrease it won't be fast enough to get to Easter at low-risk levels.
In contrast, the situation in hospitals is good, with only 3.34% of beds in wards and 4.62% of ICUs occupied by Covid patients.
From a political viewpoint, the government is under increasing pressure to give a firm date. Congress approved a motion on Thursday agreed by Cuidadanos with the PSOE, that urges the Government to abolish the mandatory use of masks indoors, on the condition that it has the endorsement of the scientific community and the health authorities.
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