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Spain to revoke outdoor facemask mandate

Masking can reduce the spread of the coronavirus, has been the message so far.

Madrid, Spain | Xinhua | The Spanish government will next week revoke the mandate for wearing facemasks against the infection from COVID-19, Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Friday.

A proposal for that will be approved in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the minister told local radio station Cadena Ser, adding the measure will be published in the official State Gazette on Wednesday and come into effect on Thursday.

The Spanish government previously lifted the mandate for wearing facemasks outdoors in June 2021, but reintroduced it on Dec. 23 as COVID-19 cases soared in the country due to the Omicron variant surge.

Spain saw the 14-day incidence of the virus climb to over 3,400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in January, but according to the Health Ministry data published on Friday, that incidence has dropped to 2,299.44.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 patients now occupy 19.96 percent of intensive care beds in Spain, falling below 20 percent for the first time in a month.

Darias said that all of the epidemiological indicators pointed to a fall in the number of infections, and some communities in the country were calling for lifting the obligation to wear masks outdoors.

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