The Socialist Party (PS) had earlier stated that it will not propose in parliament the renewal of the mandatory use of masks in outdoor public spaces, a diploma which expires on 12 September, a position that it said coincides with that of the General Directorate of health.

In statements to TSF, the president of the PSD Parliamentary Group, Adão Silva, also stated that only a sudden worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic in the coming days would prevent the Social Democrats from defending the end of the use of masks outdoors.

However, the acting president of the National Association of Public Health Physicians (ANMSP), Gustavo Tato Borges, has stated that there is no set date to stop wearing the mask.

“The National Association of Public Health Physicians continues to suggest that, especially in this winter phase that we are about to enter, that the mask continues to be personal protective piece of equipment used by everyone, or almost everyone, so that we can protect ourselves not only from Covid- 19, but also from the flu”, defended Gustavo Tato Jorge.

According to the specialist, this measure will make it possible to have "a much more controlled winter" with regard to these two pathologies and will also allow the National Health Service (SNS) to catch up with delays in regards to surgeries, consultations and the monitoring of other patients.

For Gustavo Tato Borges, it is essential that people understand that the decision to end the mandatory use of masks in public spaces is “a political decision” and not a medical one.

"It is the politicians who must assume whether or not it continues [the use of masks in public spaces] and, although this obligation is likely to stop [on Sunday], it is our duty to continue to take measures to protect our health and the use of masks it is clearly one of them”, he stressed.

In his opinion, it makes perfect sense that, at least during the winter, masks continue to be used, especially when it comes to frail patients, the chronically ill, the elderly, the immunocompromised and all those who have a family member or with whom they come in contact in these situations in order to be protected further.

The issue of whether or not to renew the mandatory use of masks in outdoor public spaces is one of the issues that could be analysed next Wednesday, during the meeting of the conference of parliamentary leaders, which will set the first schedules for the new legislative session.

Asked if the use of masks in the workplace for eight hours could cause any problems, Gustavo Tato Borges stated that everything depends on the workplace and the type of work being carried out.

“If it's a very physical job it might be more complicated to wear the mask for so long, but if it's not so physical it's probably easier to do it,” he commented.

The specialist gave the example of health professionals who, during the pandemic, have been wearing masks uninterruptedly during their shifts.

“Therefore, it is possible to use [a mask], but of course I understand that for some jobs it may be more difficult,” he said, pointing out that in places where workers have a physical distance of two metres, it may be possible to remove the mask.