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Use of face masks to be reviewed 'in coming weeks'

Health department wants to see progression of protection in countries with larger share of people vaccinated before making decision

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17 May 2021 12:10 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The use of face masks will be reviewed by the Catalan government "in the coming weeks."

The health department secretary general, Marc Ramentol, said in a RAC1 radio interview on Sunday that they will "for sure" reconsider whether the protection should continue to be compulsory in the near future as the vaccine rollout progresses and the pandemic situation continues to improve

He added that, before making a decision, authorities want to see the evolution of the pandemic in countries where the immunization rate is higher and where face masks are no longer compulsory: "Based on the knowledge acquired in other countries and on the evolution of the pandemic, this will, without doubt, be a debate we will tackle in the coming weeks."

The government will especially look into the situation in the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom.

How summer 2021 will look

In the same interview, Ramentol also said that this summer will be more similar to that of 2019 than that of 2020, but basic restrictions including social distancing and air circulation will still apply.

Check out this recent Catalan News podcast to know what this summer in Catalonia will look like, including cultural events, vaccinations and tourism.

The senior official also agreed with the World Health Organization (WHO) in saying that Covid-19 vaccination in lower-income countries has to be prioritized to children in wealthier nations, because it is not a "serious disease" for much younger people.

Indeed, he said that the immunity of adults already protects children, and warned that having large amounts of adult people without jabs anywhere in the world could translate into a "higher risk of mutations."

Street parties unlikely to have impact

As for the thousands of people who spent Friday and Saturday night drinking in public and some without social distancing, Ramentol did not think this will have a major impact on the epidemiological situation. "In order to know whether this will have epidemiological impact, we should consider whether this behavior is widespread. This would concern us, but we do not think it is the case."

Over 16,000 people were forced out of Barcelona's beaches and city center on Friday and Saturday nights after drinking in public – people partaking in so-called 'botellons.'

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  • A woman wears a face mask in the Tarragona market (by Eloi Tost)

  • A woman wears a face mask in the Tarragona market (by Eloi Tost)

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