Socialist Spanish PM Mandates Mask Wearing OUTDOORS Over Omicron Fears

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (L) and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo speak as they walk in the gardens of La Moncloa Palace in Madrid, on October 18, 2021. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

The socialist prime minister of Spain has mandated the wearing of masks out of dorrs over Omicron variant fears.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the Socialist Party has made the wearing of masks outdoors compulsory, as fear spreads in the country regarding the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The move comes as authorities across Europe tighten COVID restrictions, with many countries ramping up booster campaigns amid fears relating to the new omicron variant.

“Experience has shown us that, together with vaccination, masks are fundamental to prevent infections,” El País reports the socialist prime minister as saying. “It’s important at a time of big crowds to put into place the obligatory use of masks”

Agreed upon by the Spanish cabinet on Wednesday, many experts within the country have criticised the measure’s effectiveness.

“It’s more a cosmetic measure than an effective one for stopping the virus,” said Mario Fontán of the Spanish Epidemiology Society regarding forced mask-wearing outdoors.

Another expert — the head of epidemiology at the Clínic Hospital in Barcelona, Toni Trilla — slammed the mandate, calling it a “superficial”.

“I don’t understand the stubbornness about introducing this measure,” said the epidemiology head. “It’s a superficial operation that, what’s more, loses you credibility over the effectiveness of the measure.”

“If I am alone on the street or two meters away from someone else am I going to get infected? No. Can masks in the street help to reduce infections? Yes, but not at a sufficient level to justify the measure,” Trilla continued. “Anyone who says that it is easier for people because that way you are always wearing it is treating citizens like they were children.”

Along with the new mask mandate, the Spanish government has announced a number of other new measures, including the deployment of the military to help speed up vaccination efforts.

The decision comes as other European states put ever increasing emphasis on their booster vaccination programs, with some going as far as to start limiting the freedoms of vaccinated people without a booster.

France has announced that vaccinated individuals who do not receive a booster will end up having their COVID “health pass” disabled, which is necessary to access establishments such as bars and restaurants.

Already affecting over-65s, the rule — which makes it so that COVID passes belonging to boosterless individuals will cease to function 7 months after their last jab — will be rolled out to the entire population from January next year.

The EU COVID cert will also begin expiring for vaccinated individuals who have not received a booster.

Though initially being issued with no expiration date, unboosted individuals within the bloc will now have their own certs disabled 270 days after they received their last vaccination.

The move has faced serious criticism, with one MEP calling the EU’s decision “tyrannical”.

“Constraining peoples’ right to travel and work by requiring vaccine and booster shots is a practical means of coercion tantamount to mandatory vaccination, which is contrary to the EU Charter of the Fundamental rights,” Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes told Breitbart London. “All lovers of freedom must reject this tyrannical EU move.”

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