End of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19

From OBN& we echo the Order published on 5 July in the BOE the Order SND/726/2023, where the Council of Ministers declares the end of the health crisis caused by COVID-19 in the country. Following the meeting of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, the regulation enters into force, putting an end to the crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. This decision is based on the assessment of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies, which has determined that Covid-19 is under control.

One of the most visible and emblematic measures of the pandemic has been the mandatory use of face masks. However, with the announcement of the end of the health crisis, it also means that the use of masks will no longer be obligatory in health centres, hospitals, pharmacies and socio-health centres.

The Order also includes a series of recommendations to the public and health authorities to “maintain the culture of responsibility” acquired in recent years, to continue using masks in the presence of symptoms of respiratory infection and in healthcare centres that are particularly vulnerable, where the pandemic has demonstrated the need to reinforce their use in certain contexts and situations, especially:

  • By symptomatic people when they are in shared spaces.
  • By professionals attending to symptomatic cases.
  • By staff working in Intensive Care Units and Units with vulnerable patients, following the infection control recommendations provided by the Preventive Medicine and Occupational Risk Prevention Services, according to the risk assessment of each healthcare centre.
  • In hospital emergency or primary care services, including waiting rooms.
  • Finally, in residential centres for the elderly and people with disabilities, where the most vulnerable are located, additional precautions should be taken in case of symptoms in workers, residents or visitors, to prevent outbreaks and ensure the physical and emotional well-being of the most vulnerable people.