Spain Makes Masks Mandatory Amid COVID Peak

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  • The wearing of face masks in primary care centres and hospitals in Spain has again become mandatory because of a steady increase in respiratory infections in recent weeks.
  • The government decision to reintroduce mask wearing from 10 January comes six months after they ceased to be required in pharmacies and health facilities.

Spain announced on Monday that wearing face masks inside health facilities was now complusory, as COVID-19 and flu cases grow across the country, reports Euronews.

Spain reintroduces mandatory face masks

Spain will reintroduce a nationwide mask mandate in hospitals from 10 January, as cases of flu and COVID-19 have spiked over the holiday season.

The measure was necessary to “protect patients and professionals,” said Spain’s Minister of Health, Monica Garcia, on Monday. He called it “an effective, common sense rule that is supported by scientific evidence and well-received by the general public.”

Several Spanish regions, including Andalucia, voted against reintroducing the mask mandate. Other communities suggested expanding the mandate to pharmacies, according to Garcia.

Spain’s Health Ministry is giving local governments 48 hours to send over their proposals. Five Spanish regions announced the reintroduction of mask mandates in health facilities last week. Authorities in Valencia, Catalonia, and Murcia will enforce the use of masks in hospitals, health centres, and primary care emergency centres.

In the last week of 2023, flu cases spiked 75 per cent in Spain, with 4,383 cases every 100,000 habitants, according to data published by Spain’s health institute Carlos III. This was noticeable in medical centres, where hospitalisations grew 60 per cent in a week, as per the data.

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Source: Euronews

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