The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has announced that the Cabinet will meet tomorow Thursday, 23rd December, in order to pass a Royal Decree obliging the use of face masks in outdoor spaces.
The measure comes in the light of a surge in Covid-19 cases in Spain, ldue to the Omicron variant.
The latest Ministry of Health figures show that the 14 day incident rate has rocketed to 789 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
La medida clave para hacer frente a esta fase de la pandemia es intensificar y acelerar el proceso de vacunación con la tercera dosis y la inmunización infantil. Hoy nos marcamos nuevos objetivos para continuar con este proceso. España puede lograrlo porque ya lo ha hecho antes. pic.twitter.com/PcxvcgN329
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) December 22, 2021
The figure for the Madrid region is over 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants – a record.
Speaking at a press conference today, following the Conferencia de Presidentes with all 17 of Spain´s regional heads of government, Sanchez said the measure, along with the continued vaccination programme ” was the most efficient way” to contain the sixth wave of the coronavirus.
However the measure comes with significant caveats in order to accommodate many regions such as those of Madrid which has not called for the compulsory wearing of face masks in public.
Madrid´s regional premier, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, took to Twitter to oppose the move and state that Madrid would not be closing ” without data.”
The guiding principle being the need to maintain social distancing of at least 1.5 metres from other people.
Spain has one of the highest vaccination levels in the world covering some 91.8% of the over-12s and has recently started providing vaccines to those aged 5 to 11.
To date Spain has recorded 5,645,095 Covid-19 cases of which 88,937 have been fatal.