The mask, the great symbol of the pandemic and the virus, is still with us. However, as the Valencian Community President Ximo Puig said the other day, it will no longer be necessary to wear it in open spaces from next Saturday, the 26th June.

But it is a decision that has been made by the Pedro Sánchez Government, and it is one that autonomous communities and municipalities, especially those of a different political persuasion, have received with suspicion.

The Valencian Government does not like it very much, and on Friday, through its spokesperson, Mónica Oltra, it said that the government had rushed the decision. The mayor of Alicante, Luis Barcala, said that he did not like it either, claiming that autonomous communities should have been consulted.

However virtually all of the experts say that the decision is absolutely correct, because the effectiveness of the mask to avoid contagion in the open air is very limited.  They also go on to add that it is still too early to eliminate it in urban areas, where it is difficult to maintain safety distance for security.

But if we look to see what is happening around us we can see that we are quite alone. Across the whole of Europe, only Greece, Portugal and Spain insist on the wearing of masks in open spaces.

From that point of view, the Sanchez decision seems absolutely correct, especially in a country that wants to offer a feeling of openness in order to attract tourism.

And that tourists would not understand or feel safe if they come from countries where it is not necessary to wear a mask outdoors into one where it is compulsory, and have to wear it in order to enjoy their holidays. It is just not not be logical.

However, the regional reluctance comes mainly from the fact that Sánchez, in need of positive news, has made the decision without consulting any of the community leaders. And that has not pleased the regional governments, which the other day forced Darias, the Minister of Health, to leave the issue on the table.

Just another example of politicians following their own agendas rather than the wishes of the people they represent.

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