After exactly 700 days of being required to wear a mask indoors, Spaniards and foreigners in Spain were finally allowed to decide whether to wear a face covering or not in most indoor public settings after the rules were changed on Wednesday April 20th.
We looked at if Spain is really ready to get rid of masks indoors, by analysing the social effects and finding out what the experts had to say, but we also wanted to find out what our readers had to say about it.
A total of 232 people responded to our survey asking readers if they would continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces in Spain.
Out of those, 46.1 percent said that they won’t continue wearing their masks and ‘will only do so when it’s required’, such as on public transport. 25.9 percent or around a quarter said that they will continue to wear their masks indoors ‘all or most of the time’ and 28 percent said that ‘it will depend on the place and situation’ as to whether they decide to wear one or not.
Out of the people who said they would continue to wear a mask indoors all or most of the time, the majority cited health issues or fear of contracting the virus as their reason. Readers listed issues such as asthma, fear of being particularly vulnerable to Covid because of old age and pregnancy as reasons that they will continue to wear them. Some people were also worried about vaccines not being effective, the emergence of new variants and long Covid.
One reader summed up the sentiments perfectly by saying they would continue to wear one “Just because it is no hassle to do so and it is safer for myself and others. When it becomes clear that covid really has ‘changed’ into a common virus I might reconsider. But not yet”.
Another said: “It’s not hard at all (except for the glasses steaming up, but I’ve switched to contacts). Getting ill isn’t pleasant or practical, especially for the self-employed, and I haven’t even caught a cold in two years. It’s a visual reminder to be careful. And my wife is pregnant”.
Just under half of the respondents said that now masks are no longer required indoors, they won’t be wearing them. The majority of these people claimed that masks don’t work in stopping the spread of the virus. Many thought that masks weren’t necessary anymore, while a couple of people simply stated that they don’t like wearing them.
One reader commented that “The social damage of non-visual communication is far higher than the protection of a mask indoors. Masks are making us humans numb”, citing social reasons for not wanting to wear one anymore.
Another added that “We need to engage our immune systems and live life”, clearly fed up with all the restrictions placed on us over the past two years.
Finally, 28 percent of respondents said they would decide on whether to wear a mask or not depending on the situation. Most people said that they would continue wearing them in crowded indoor venues or places where a distance between people couldn’t be maintained.
One reader explained a sensible approach: “If the indoor setting is very crowded ie. a cinema or a concert then yes, I will continue to wear one. If shops or shopping centres are particularly busy or congested, then I would wear one too, in order to help prevent others from getting Covid”.