The mask is already a more political issue than a health issue. And that is why the Government does not set an exit date

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The Congress of Deputies has just pass a motion to eliminate the mandatory use of masks indoors. That is to say, Congress has just asked the executive to drop the last of the great measures of the pandemic that is still in force. And he has done it, curiously, with the votes of the PSOE minutes after Sánchez ruled out the repeal of the obligation. What is happening to the mask and why are we one of the last countries in Europe to keep it indoors?

A petition to the government supported by the governing party. This week, two different motions (one from VOX and another from Cs) asked the Government to eliminate the mandatory nature of the mask indoors. The two seemed destined to be rejected in Congress, but at the last moment the socialist party has joined the Ciudadanos party. Thus, it has been approved with the votes in favor of the PSOE, Vox and Ciudadanos; the abstention of United We Can, More Country and the rest of the “progressive bloc”; and the vote against the PP, the PNV and the Canarian Coalition.

Because right now? The key has been a socialist amendment that replaces the request to “establish a de-escalation calendar” with something much less specific (“take the appropriate steps to address the reconsideration of the measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic”) in within the framework of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System. For practical purposes, it has only been re-staged that the issue of indoor masks long ago ceased to be a health issue.

We already have the first study on the use of masks in schools.  They haven't been much use

Sánchez does not set a date. Above all, because minutes before Pedro Sánchez had said in the Chamber that will make the decision to eliminate the mask as soon as there is a consensus in the scientific community and the health professionals endorse it: “they are the ones who know and as soon as they tell us, we will do it the next second”. “There is one day less for that obligation to be lifted”, he has declared without explaining how, when or what objective criteria must be given for that decision to be made.

What condition is the mask in? In the same one that I was. On February 2, the Government managed to approve the mandatory nature of the mask outdoors, only to knock it down two days later. The explanation was that, that omnibus decree from the beginning of February, gave him the ability to remove and put the obligation without going through parliament.

Since then, and despite the fact that the same executive had set the end of March as a reference point to talk about the end of the masks, the messages have been contradictory. Not only is there no type of calendar, but there are also no general criteria that allow us to guess when it will be eliminated. Everything is in the hands of the decisions of the Government.

European minority. Meanwhile, Spain continues to be part of the tiny group of European countries that still keeps masks indoors. Italy, Slovakia, Lithuania and Bulgaria are still there. Greece, another of the few countries that maintained it, will abandon the obligation as of April 1.

Image | Chema Clares/GTRES

The Congress of Deputies has just pass a motion to eliminate the mandatory use of masks indoors. That is to…

The Congress of Deputies has just pass a motion to eliminate the mandatory use of masks indoors. That is to…

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