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Health awaits “propitious” moment to announce the end of face masks on public transport

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The decision has already been taken, but it has not yet been communicated. The Ministry of Health is waiting for the moment “politically propitious” to announce the end of facemask on public transport. of Spain, according to EL PERIÓDICO’s sources. Bus, subway, train and plane. are the only areas in which face masks are still mandatory, even though in some of these modes of transport many users do not respect the rule.

The government is not unaware that any decision it announces or takes throughout this 2023, election year, will have repercussions, that’s why he’s waiting for the right time to announce a decision that has already been taken. The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, will be the PSOE candidate for mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Farewell to the obligatory wearing of a face mask on public transport will, in a way, put an end to a pandemic that is now three years old. This measure is a state competence, and therefore the autonomous regions can neither impose nor withdraw its obligatory nature.

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The ‘exconseller’ of Health of Catalonia, Josep Maria Argimon, had already questioned several times the obligatory nature of this rule that, especially in the subway and bus of cities like Barcelona, few people comply with. “We have a decree that forces you to do a thing that is not done.” the ‘conseller’ went so far as to say. Catalonia was always in favor of it being a recommendation and not an obligation.

Within the scientific advisory committee of covid-19 de Catalunya the general feeling is that “it makes no sense” to maintain this standard if the same is not done in other points. where there are agglomerations, according to sources consulted by this newspaper. The truth is that there is no single position on the matter: while there are some who think that this is better than nothing, others believe that the effect of the mask on public transport is right now. minimal. Other voices are betting on withdrawing it when the cold weather comes down.

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“There’s still a lot of transmission.”

Experts such as Joan Caylà, a member of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE), are shown more reluctant To remove the mask from public transportation. “There is a lot of interest to remove it at least on a mandatory basis. It would be necessary that, through a good communication strategy, people understand that there is still a lot of transmission. Whether in the end it is mandatory or not, people should have Responsibility to take it to certain places.” says Caylà, who advocates using it indoors.

In Caylà’s opinion, shared by more specialists, “it is not the best time because we are in flu season”. In addition, the epidemiologist also regrets that. society is “normalizing” the number of covid deaths. (a disease more deadly than influenza), as well as the very high maun. And he recalls that the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to advocate that the masks are useful to protect against this and other respiratory viruses.