Emiliano García-Page, president of Castilla-La Mancha, has said that his government is planning to end the compulsory use of face masks outdoors in the region by July. He made the comments during an institutional act to celebrate Castilla-La Mancha Day.
García-Page also that he would like the measure to be relaxed ‘with national coherence’ and with prior agreement between the central government and other regions of Spain.
He said that a decision should be taken in the coming weeks and before it has become one year since the mandatory use of face masks came into force in Spain.
This is possible, he said, ‘thanks to an enormously positive vaccination process’. Latest Coronavirus figures published on Friday showed that Castilla-La Mancha has an incidence rate of 113, below the national average of 124. The region has administered 1,161,860 jabs against Covid-19, according to figures on Friday, representing 94.1% of the supplies that it has so far received.
In June 2020, Spain made the wearing of face masks compulsory indoors and outdoors, for everyone aged over six if ‘social distancing’ cannot be maintained. At the time, the former health minister Salvador Illa had said that the compulsory use of face masks would remain in place ‘until a vaccine is found’.
Last month, Spain’s Inter-Territorial Council of the National Health System published a new agreement on the mandatory use of face masks, allowing for some exemptions whilst on the beach or at swimming pools.
It came after the Spanish government’s Official State Gazette (BOE) published a controversial amendment to compulsory face masks on 30 March.
The amendment, which removed the reference to the 1.5 metre social distance, stated that individuals in public spaces were required to use face masks – regardless of the distance from other people.
This included the mandatory use of face masks at the beach and swimming pools – a decision which sparked particular opposition from the regional governments.
In response to the controversy caused by the 30 March amendment, the government readdressed the details and redefined the activities in which the use of face masks are incompatible. ALSO READ: Spain amends face masks rule on beaches to allow for exemptions.