In certain regions of Spain, health authorities have reintroduced regulations requiring the use of masks.
Authorities in five Spanish regions are once again requiring masks to be worn in healthcare facilities and advising their use in other settings, as there has been an increase in cases of both flu and COVID-19 after the holiday season.
Officials in the Valencia region, which includes popular tourist spots, enforced a requirement for masks to be worn in all health facilities due to a high rate of respiratory infections at 1,501 cases per 100,000 people.
According to reports, Catalonia, Murcia, Aragon, and Galicia have also implemented mask regulations that are similar.
During an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE, Pascual Piñera, the vice president of Spain’s Society of Emergency Medicine (SEMES), stated that emergency services in the country are facing a 35% increase in acute respiratory infections, particularly influenza A, compared to last year.
Piñera attributed the increase in cases to the social gatherings that occur during the Christmas and New Year holidays. He predicts that cases will continue to increase until the third week of January.
Spain was one of the final European nations to eliminate the mandate for wearing face masks during the COVID-19 outbreak. Until February of last year, individuals were instructed to wear masks while using public transportation and until July, they were required in healthcare facilities and pharmacies.
Reuters provided some information for this report.