By Andrew Atkinson

Fernando Simón, Director of the Centre for Alerts and Health Emergencies (CCAES) has said mandatory wearing of a facemask outdoors will be based on regional Covid figures.

“It is possible that its use will be reduced in a few days, depending on how each region progresses in terms of its vaccination campaign.

“More importantly, its epidemiological situation. In the coming weeks the Government and regions will be in a position to review the semaphore – measures that the autonomies can apply depending on their epidemiological situation.

“There could also be instructions, regarding the use of masks,” said Simón.

The Spanish government is looking at a cumulative incidence (IA) of 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, in all 17 regions across Spain.

On May 17 the national incidence rate over 14 days had fallen to 151, with significant variations between the autonomous regions – Valencia being the lowest with a rate of 29 cases per 100,000. The Basque Country has a rate of 295.

The Minister for Health, Carolina Darias has not made a comment on the relaxation of COVID-19 protective mask measures – despite calls for a re-think by the Galicia and Catalonia Regions.

Leaders in regions with low incidence rates – including Valencia – which has seen its rate drop to just under 30 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days – will be looking at relaxed measures being taken in other countries, in terms of wearing facemasks outdoors.

Spain’s Organisation for Consumers and Users (OCU) called on the Spanish government to end laws of wearing facemasks mandatory outside, after the end of state of emergency on May 9.

The government has said the decision will depend on regional Covid data.

Vaccinations in Spain are increasingly up, with data of 7 million plus people fully vaccinated. 32% of Spain’s population have received at least one vaccine dose.

Caption: The need to wear Facemasks outdoors in Spain could end.