The majority of autonomous communities still oblige non-university students to wear the mask in outdoor spaces such as the patio, as established in the Declaration of Coordinated Actions in Public Health against COVID-19 for educational centers during the course of 2021 -2022.
Although, said document states that “in controlled outdoor activities in which the students respect the distance of 1.5 meters, it may be assessed not to use the mask during that activity, subject in turn to the evolution of the epidemiological situation “.
Most regions maintain the mandatory recess , although there are some that have already lifted the obligation, as long as the interpersonal distance between students is respected. There are also some communities that are already studying whether to lift this obligation.
After the announcement made by the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, that masks will no longer be mandatory in the patios of Madrid schools at recess and outdoors as of this Monday, the president has pronounced from the Region of Murcia, Fernando López Miras, who has ruled out for the moment following in the wake of Madrid, by ensuring that the mask will no longer be mandatory in the courtyards of educational centers when so recommended by health professionals and experts in Epidemiology and Health Public that make up the Covid-19 Monitoring Committee.
For his part, the Minister of Health and Families of the Junta de Andalucía, Jesús Aguirre, stated this Thursday that this year there will be a greater incidence of influenza than in the past and “more incidence” of respiratory viruses, therefore ” The use of the mask will be highly recommended throughout the winter until spring, “meaning that the obligation to wear it at all times will be maintained, even outdoors.
Along the same lines, the Government of Castilla-La Mancha also announced this Wednesday that it is not yet considering ending the masks in the schoolyards, nor does the Government of the Balearic Islands, which does not contemplate “for the moment” to abolish said obligation.
Meanwhile, the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, has opened the door to “park” the decision to eliminate the mandatory mask in the courtyards of educational centers due to the increase in Covid-19 infections in recent days, since it was a decision that was being studied in this community. In this sense, the head of the Consell has stated that the Generalitat “will always pay attention to what the experts and technicians of the Ministry of Health say.”
In the Canary Islands, it is mandatory until now to wear the mask in the schoolyards . Although the protocol of measures for this region contemplates exceptions, none of them refer to outdoor spaces, but rather are focused on non-mandatory issues due to medical conditions. And in Cantabria, at the moment it is also mandatory to go out to the patio with a mask, as in La Rioja.
In Galicia, the first vice-president of the Xunta, Alfonso Rueda, has ratified this Thursday that the Galician Government is pending the decision on the possible removal of the mask in the recesses of the educational centers. But he has revealed that a consultation will be carried out, through the legal services of the Xunta, to determine if removing the mask at recess is “legally viable.”
And from Castilla y León, the vice president and spokesman of the Board, Francisco Igea, has defended that measures such as the elimination of masks in schoolyards are adopted at the national level and are agreed upon in the Interterritorial Health Council. Igea has recalled that children under 12 years of age are unvaccinated and are the group in which the highest incidence of Covid-19 is now being recorded, which is why it has insisted on the importance of waiting for a decision on this matter in the Interterritorial.
CCAA that allow not wearing a mask
Among the regions that already allow not wearing the mask outdoors is the Basque Country. In this community, ESO students will be able to be in the courtyard without a mask if the safety distance of 1.5 meters is maintained, for the intake of food and beverages and for carrying out intense exercise, as stated in the new protocol of preventive measures against Covid-19 in educational centers in the Basque Country for the 2021/22 academic year released this Friday.
Also in Asturias for two weeks it is possible to go without a mask in the courtyards of the educational centers if the safety distance is maintained. According to the protocol of this region, “the educational centers will be able to eliminate the zoning of the courtyards as a mandatory measure, allowing the interaction of students in outdoor activities, avoiding crowds in any case”, adding that “the use of a mask will always be mandatory that the distance of 1.5 meters cannot be guaranteed. “
In the case of Navarra, it is already allowed for the students of the Infant and Primary cycles of the educational centers to gather at recess by educational levels, respecting the security measures between the different levels. In the case of Early Childhood Education students, this interaction can also be carried out without a mask.
And in Catalonia you can go without a mask if there are no students from several mixed bubble groups in the courtyard, and in large patios where spaces can be delimited to keep the groups separated from each other, the obligation to wear one can also be eliminated.