Mandatory street mask use ends this Monday, September 13th. After 318 days the measure provided for in the law is no longer in force since October 28, 2020 and it is now possible to walk in the street without a mask, but there are exceptions in the guidance published by the General Directorate of Health (DGS). In addition to being recommended in situations where there are gatherings, it even remains mandatory in many cases, such as schools and public transport.
There are a total of seven situations in which the mask must be used, from the outset in education, teaching and day care establishments which are already in operation or whose teachers and students will return between September 14 and 17 – the period that marks the beginning of the 2021/2022 school year. In this case, the measure applies to people over 10 years old, and for children between 6 and 10 years old or 1st cycle students, “regardless of age”, the mask “is strongly recommended”.
The DGS also establishes that in shopping centers and the provision of services, it is necessary to have a mask both in the access and in the interior, as well as in public buildings. Public transport is another place where a mask is mandatory and the same is true at the workplace, when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance. With regard to culture, “to access and stay inside theaters, cinemas or similar” it is necessary to have a mask.
Finally, the guidance indicates that the use of a mask is to be maintained in “residential establishments for the elderly (ERPI), units of the National Network for Continuing Integrated Care (RNCCI) and other structures and residential responses for children, youth and people with disability, applicants and beneficiaries of international protection and reception of victims of domestic violence and human trafficking”.
In the document published this Monday, the DGS leaves a note that, although not mandatory, the mask is recommended “in outdoor spaces, when the occurrence of population agglomerates is expected or whenever it is not possible to maintain the recommended physical distance “.
The use of a surgical mask should also be maintained by people who suspect an infection with COVID-19, who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, “all people who circulate inside health care units” and most vulnerable people.