Brits heading on Spain holidays this summer may find themselves having to wear face masks indoors, as the holiday hotspot considers bringing back measures due to rising Covid cases.
Popular destinations such as the Canaries and Costa del Sol haven't ruled out the possibility of re-introducing mandatory face masks indoors.
At the moment, they're advising people to be cautious and wear a mask inside by choice.
So far, the Spanish government has ruled out the reintroduction of the indoor masks rule which was lifted in April for bars, shops and restaurants but not on public transport.
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Head of the epidemiology section of the general directorate of public health of the Government of the Canary Islands, Amós García Rojas said he couldn't rule out demanding mask indoors again “to protect the vulnerable”.
"The pandemic is not gone," he stressed. "It is necessary to continue maintaining certain restrictions and care, perhaps in the obligation to wear a mask indoors, if the situation does not improve."
Mr. Rojas sent a message of “calm” in the face of the increase in cases but warned people “not to fall into complacency” since “the virus is there”.
He later reiterated that the current scenario "is not as dramatic" as in other waves thanks to vaccines which have managed to "modulate the negative impact that the pandemic has had but urged everyone to get vaccinated. He urged anyone dealing with vulnerable people, the elderly and those with serious illnesses to wear masks.
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Regarding the adoption of measures if infections continue to rise, he stated that "we will have to act accordingly."
And he warned: "The massive parties that are taking place in Tenerife and Gran Canaria will lead to more infections. If the situation is not redirected, measures will have to be taken."
As for Costa del Sol, the mayor of Malaga is backing the return of masks indoors to stop the "acceleration" of infections, describing it as "necessary".
Francisco de la Torre warned: "Otherwise, we are going to have a summer with many health problems that will affect the well-being and lives of many."
Spain's Minister of Health, Carolina Darias says people should consider wearing masks indoors again to maintain protection measures against Covid-19 given the increase in infections and hospital occupation.
She called for prudence and the use of protection measures, recalling that "in this time we have learned to keep the virus at bay", while highlighting that the increase in incidence is due to the new omicron sublineages that have appeared, BA.4 and BA.5.
"We know from other countries, such as Portugal, that we are facing omicron sublineages that are more transmissible but less serious in relation to previous stages," she warned.
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