Spain will recover this Christmas Eve the obligation to wear a mask outdoors regardless of the safety distance despite the fact that criticism continues to intensify of a measure whose usefulness experts question and divides politicians.
The royal decree law approved this Thursday by the Council of Ministers assumes that “every time we go out, we have to go with it on” except in “natural spaces” or to practice individual sports , as explained at a press conference by the Minister of Health , Carolina Darias.
And that is the difference with the royal decree law that gave the green light in June, which always frees it from outdoor use.and when the interpersonal safety distance of 1.5 meters could be maintained.
Now it will have to be used in any circumstance, regardless of the distance, except for two cases, that of practicing individual sports or being in a natural space, although if it is with non-cohabitants, it will be necessary to maintain the meter and a half.
“If you are in a city and you go out to play sports you are exempt, or on the beach with cohabitants, and the same in the countryside” ; but “in a town square, it will be mandatory to wear it”, Darias has exemplified.
In any case, it is a “temporary measure” that will be in force for “the essential time until the current epidemiological situation” improves,
The new regulation maintains the rest of what was established by its predecessor : the mask will continue to be mandatory in closed spaces for public use, in public transport of any kind, as well as complementary private transport of up to 9 seats if the occupants do not live in the same address. Ship passengers in their cabin and groups that live in closed spaces for public use such as institutions for the elderly or care for people with functional diversity, and dependencies for people who are essential workers
are exempted .
As a requirement of this exemption, which will not be applicable to workers or visitors to these centers,

Vaccine coverage with the complete schedule must be greater than 80%, now adding the booster dose that was not in June.
The Government has relied on the crowds seen in recent days and the increase in mobility and social interactions of these dates to justify the return of the imposition of the mask outdoors.
Also in that “scientists endorse it” and there are studies in “the United States and Germany that speak of the relationship between the spread of aerosols and the mask to prevent that spread,” according to Darias.
Although as soon as the measure transferred by the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, to the regional leaders at the Conference of Presidents held yesterday was known, the scientific community came out in a storm to criticize a measure whose effectiveness they questioned.
Criticism that has followed today: experts from the Epidemiology Society (SEE), the Spanish Public Health Society (Sespas), the Family Doctors and the Nursing Council consulted coincide in pointing out their disappointment.
The Vice President of the SEE, Oscar Zurriaga, has lamented that it is the only measure of the Executive to fight against the sixth wave when it has been shown that “it has never been particularly effective”. “What cannot be is that now it is mandatory outdoors and when we enter a bar we take it off. This has no logic. The important thing is that we use it indoors, that there is ventilation and that we avoid crowds,” he has settled. .
Implanting the mask outdoors is uselessbecause we have known for a long time that we have a risk up to 20 times greater of contagion indoors”, added Manuel Franco, spokesman for the Spanish Society of Public Health (Sespas), who considers that “it is a counterproductive and poorly taken measure”, in addition to “Harmful because we are losing focus and discouraged, because now the population already knows a lot. “
The president of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (Semfyc), Salvador Tranche, finds both the covid certificate of “doubtful effectiveness” such as outdoor masks, although it has valued the promotion of vaccination, the economic allocation to incorporate resources in Primary Care, even incorporating retired personnel, and the objective of reducing temporary employment to below 8%.
There has been less unanimity in Congress, where the return of masks to the street has had a mixed reception: despite the fact that most of the regional presidents gave their approval , with exceptions such as Javier Lamban (Aragon) or Isabel Diaz Ayuso ( Madrid), the Chamber has resonated, above all, with the opinions of those who are critical of the support of the ERC or the Government.
In the PP, Ana Pastor has demanded that the Government not take the Spaniards for a ride and has demanded mass vaccination to puncture the booster dose to all those over 18 years of age and provide a free antigen test to each Spaniard.
But the most belligerent group has been Vox, who will appeal the measure because he considers it a “tyranny” without the slightest scientific basis”, as reiterated by Macarena Olona. The spokesperson for EH Bildu, Mertxe Aizpurua ,
has also been critical, among other things, for giving “wings to the deniers”. , which points out that outside the agglomerations it is “nonsense” that “contributes little and confuses a lot”, in addition to creating “uneasiness and satiation”.
From Compromis, Joan Baldovi circumscribes the usefulness to large cities and agglomerations and Sergi Miquel , from the PDeCat , has asked to reconsider it and opt instead to improve health, carry out more vaccination campaigns and ask that the holidays be celebrated “in order”.

He has advanced that he will not support the validation of the royal decree and has advocated increasing resources in Primary Care by 500 million euros more, raising awareness in favor of the booster vaccine or that the unemployed can act as trackers.

ERC , which from the Generalitat has proposed the most severe restrictions to stop infections, has defended that the mask abroad does protect, although its spokesman in Congress, Gabriel Rufian, has criticized the paradox of autonomies that support this measure while they fire doctors “The quiz of the matter is to strengthen public health,” he stressed.

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