Catalonia will be 24 hours ahead of the rest of Spain in lifting the mandatory use of face masks in schools.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Generalitat of Catalonia announced that it is finalizing a decision that will be published on the night of Monday to Tuesday in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat of Catalonia (Dogc).
Said decision will allow "flexibility in the use of masks" among primary and secondary students from Tuesday, the day on which Catalan students resume activity after the Easter holidays.
The Spanish central government announced last week that on Tuesday the 19 April the Council of Ministers will approve a decree to lift the mandatory use of face shields indoors throughout the country. The decision will enter into force the following day, Wednesday 20 April, after its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE).
The regional government of Catalonia will one day be ahead of the rest of Spain, at least when it comes to schools. And that decision has not pleased the central government authorities.
The Catalan Minister of Health, Josep Maria Argimon, justified the decision of the autonomous executive as he sees "no sense" in that students still have to wear masks at school for a day after the Easter holidays, and stop to use them the next day.
The spokeswoman for the Catalan Government, Patrícia Plaja, also announced that the Generalitat intended that Primary and Secondary students in educational centers in Catalonia do not have to wear a mask in the classroom from next Tuesday.
Plaja emphasized that the central government plans to lift the obligation to wear a mask indoors for all citizens on Wednesday 20:
"What the (Catalan) Government does is advance the decree one day with a resolution" in the case of schools, she explained.
The decision of the Catalan authorities only affects primary and secondary schools. The other citizens must continue to wear the mask in all other cases until the lifting is effective throughout the country.