Spain’s Minister of Finance and government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, announced on Sunday, at a press conference, the mandatory use of face masks in public places, likely to form part of the de-escalation plan as they seek support for a latest one-month extension to the State of Emergency.
The move comes following requests from several of the country’s autonomous regional governments, despite initial resistance from central government to legislate on mask use, following divisions and debate as to their effectiveness in the response to Covid19
Health Minister, Salvador Illa, has said they are working on how the instructions to use masks in all public spaces may be implemented in coming days, although he did not want to give specific details until the order has been finalised.
The Prime Minister of Spain’s Government, Pedro Sánchez, held the meeting with the autonomous communities and cities on Sunday, his tenth by videoconference since the state of emergency was declared, in which, among other matters, he made clear his intention to request a new extension, which “We hope will be the last, for a period of approximately one month.”
State of emergency
“We have to maintain the necessary caution and prudence; we have come a long way, but we have not reached the end of the road. We must not rush” said Montero summarising the current situation, repeating the government’s estimate that the state of emergency may have saved some 300,000 lives throughout Spain.
The legal decree for the extension has been written “in the most flexible way” possible, within the framework of sanitary and scientific criteria and in co-governance with the autonomous communities, explained the government spokesperson, who expressed hope that its importance would be understood by all political groups and supported in the votes this Tuesday by the Council of Ministers and by representatives in the Cortes on Wednesday.