The Government reimposes the use of the mask outdoors

  • Sánchez meets this Thursday in an extraordinary way the Council of Ministers to approve a new catalog of measures, but no restrictions

  • Pediatric vaccination will be intensified and immunization of the third dose and the professional antigen tests will be sold in pharmacies

Six months later, the mask will again be mandatory outdoors. It is one of the measures that will be part of the royal decree law that the Council of Ministers, monographic and meeting in an extraordinary way, will approve this Thursday, December 23. The use of military personnel, the vaccination process will be intensified and accelerated or professional antigen tests will be sold in pharmacies so that they can be acquired by ordinary citizens. But no new restrictions will be marked, at least for now, Contrary to what Catalunya demanded, which has approved the closure of nightlife, limit the capacity in bars and restaurants, reduce the number of diners at family gatherings to 10 and recover the curfew from 1 to 6 in the morning. For the last two initiatives, the Generalitat needs judicial endorsement. Catalonia, however, is not the only autonomy that demands more forcefulness. Also other communities, including the PP, demand tougher limitations.

The Government, therefore, will give light this Thursday to a package of New measures against the covid in the middle of the sixth wave and on the eve of Christmas Eve, at a time when it was raining reproaches due to inaction in the face of the runaway increase in infections, which on Tuesday registered a new daily record in the pandemic so far: 49,823 cases. Pedro Sánchez announced the catalog of initiatives at the start of the XXV Conference of Presidents, telematics and in the Senate, led by the recovery of the mask outdoors, a measure claimed by several regional leaders in recent days but questioned by experts because Most of the infections occur in closed and poorly ventilated interiors. The mask was no longer essential in open spaces on June 26, as long as the distance could be kept and there were no crowds. Now it will be necessary again, in all circumstances, as in the first four waves of the pandemic.

Sánchez announced that the decree law that the Council of Ministers will launch this Thursday will include a device reinforcement with vaccination teams of the Armed Forces, and hospitals of the military health network will be made available to the communities. Likewise, a new immunization schedule is set. Thus, 80% of the population between 60 and 69 years must be vaccinated with the third dose before the end of 2021 (now the index is at 61.1%); 80% of those between the ages of 50 and 59 in the week of January 24, 2022; 80% of those aged 40-49 in the first week of March; 70% with the first pediatric dose in the week of February 7 and 70% of children with the second puncture by April 19. Right now, and according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, 84.2% of those older than 70 years have already received the third dose, and 54.2% of those vaccinated with Janssen have received the booster injection.

There is also a reinforcement of human resources before a primary care collapsed again and with the risk of tension in hospitals. The decree law will allow the hiring of retired and pre-retired health personnel and the authorization for the recruitment of professionals with a specialist title obtained in non-EU member states. The number of available health professionals will also be increased and their working conditions will be improved, “reducing their temporality to 8%”. The General State Budgets, he said, will allocate 292 million euros to this plan, most of it transferred to the autonomous communities.

“Periodic meetings”

The president added that temporary authorizations will be issued to allow the sale in pharmacies of certain antigen test for professional use so that they are “available to the entire population.” As the Public Health Commission approved yesterday, he pointed out, quarantines are made more flexible: people who have had direct contact with an infected person should not isolate themselves if they are vaccinated with a full schedule.

He also recalled that as approved by the European Commission, as of February 1, 2022, the period of validity of the immunization will be 9 months from the date of administration of the last dose. This is to encourage the third puncture. Finally, Sánchez promised to “periodic meetings of the Conference of Presidents while this sixth wave lasts “of the covid.

Sánchez started his speech with a call for tranquility, in line with the messages that he himself and his Government have been sending in recent weeks: the omicron variant, which will be the “prevalent“,” It can be attacked with a booster dose. “” Vaccination is a success and it will be, it should be the mainstay of the response. Some eight million doses are available to the communities and there are up to 90 million already planned in 2022, “he defended. The president justified, in order not to apply new restrictions, that the situation It is not a couple neither to that of March nor to that of December 2020, although the uncontrolled growth of the incidence forces, in his opinion, to intensify some actions.

Related news

The socialist leader did not convince several presidents. The first to show his disagreement, in fact, was the first to speak, Iñigo Urkullu, who warned that “criteria and measures” are needed in the face of very high infection rates and in the face of “obvious stress” in primary care. The Basque president insisted that the communities do not have the “sufficient” legal tools to deal with the covid, which is why, in his opinion, an agreement that favors “legal certainty” would be necessary. Urkullu demanded that the maximum closing time be established at one in the morning, limit the capacity at social, cultural or sporting events; limit the maximum consumption of 10 people per table, prohibit consumption standing up or recommend that Christmas lunches and dinners bring together a maximum of 10 people and two family units.

For Pere Aragonès, “unpopular but essential” measures are needed, because the third dose “cannot be the only way to combat this sixth wave.” “We cannot wait for February or March when we have protection” from the reinforcement puncture, he argued, because by then the impact of the virus may be of such caliber that it could “block and collapse the health system.” Catalonia also defends activating a new covid fund in the face of a new blow from the pandemic and launching complementary measures such as “facilitating sick leave for families who must care for a child who is confined by close contact.”

Leave a Comment