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Spain reintroduces mask requirement

Masks will apparently be required again in all Spanish health facilities from Wednesday due to increasing respiratory diseases such as flu and corona.

The mask requirement in the healthcare system was only lifted in Spain in July 2023, but it will now apply again from Wednesday: Due to the increasing number of respiratory diseases such as flu and corona, the country is returning to the partial mask requirement. This was reported by the state TV broadcaster RTVE, citing the Ministry of Health.

Previously, Health Minister Mónica García had failed to convince all regions of the need to introduce the mask requirement on their own initiative. The minister justified the temporary measure with the protection of vulnerable sections of the population such as small children and the elderly as well as health workers. In some parts of the country, hospital emergency departments are under severe pressure due to high patient volumes.

More infections over holidays

Five Spanish regions had already announced on Friday that they would reintroduce the mask requirement in health facilities. A sharp increase in flu and Covid-19 cases was registered over the holidays: in the Valencia region, for example, the number of respiratory infections rose to 1,501 cases per 100,000 inhabitants between December 26th and January 1st – after Castile-La Mancha the second highest reported number of cases in the country this week.

Catalonia and Aragon also ordered the wearing of masks in health centers. The regional government there “strongly recommended” that workers and citizens as a whole wear masks in public places and especially in closed rooms. Murcia on the southeast coast also introduced a mask requirement, while in northwest Galicia, wearing masks has so far only been recommended.

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