Illa keeps the term “close friend” at Christmas gatherings out of “common sense”




The Ministry of Health insists on keeping the term “close friend” among the exceptions to allow Christmas trips, celebrations and banquets, within the security plan against the coronavirus. The maximum limit of 10 people is also maintained for Christmas celebrations and gatherings. At the same time, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has objected to accepting the request of the Community of Madrid so that pharmacies can perform antigen tests to detect Covid patients.

This was indicated by Illa after the meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System held this Tuesday from Zaragoza between the Government and the autonomous communities. The Ministers of Health and Territorial Policy, Salvador Illa and Carolina Darias, they moved this Tuesday to the Aragonese capital. They met with the Aragonese president, Javier Lambán (PSOE), and with its Minister of Health, Sira Repollés. And hold from this city the telematic meeting with the heads of Health of the rest of the autonomous regions.

Illa says that the term “close friend” in the Christmas plan against Covid responds to “common sense.” Despite the controversy of the measure, publicly rejected by various regional officials since it was announced, Minister Illa insists on not understanding the controversy.

Although there have been several autonomous governments that in recent days have expressed their rejection of the term “close friend” in the Christmas permits, Illa assured that during the meeting this Tuesday there had only been “some comment” that asked “to specify the term ». No more.

The Executive of Lambán recoils before Illa

The Aragonese Government chaired by the socialist Javier Lambán is among those who have backed down in their criticism. Last week, Lambán himself considered it nonsense that the Ministry of Health had included the term “close friend” and described it as an “open bar” at a time when it is necessary to restrict mobility and Christmas gatherings to contain the Covid . However, this Tuesday, at the press conference offered by Illa, the Aragonese Minister of Health did not question the measure. Not a trace of the words launched a few days ago by Lambán.

“It is a semantic question,” said the Aragonese Government on Tuesday through the mouth of the Minister Repollés, to avoid the controversy. “I think it is not necessary to express any further objections”, said the counselor to support what the minister had just said.

Madrid and antigen tests

Illa stated that when one speaks of “close friend”, it refers to an “affective relationship that does not fall into the classic family relationship.” I think everyone has understood. We try to apply common sense “, remarked the minister who, however, was critical of the request of the Community of Madrid to carry out antigen tests in pharmacies.

Although he said that the Ministry has not yet made a decision at the request of the Madrid government that presides over the popular Isabel Diaz AyusoNor did he hide that he is not satisfied. He said that the decision will depend on what the “technicians” of the Ministry say, but did not advance when he will respond to the Community of Madrid and made it clear that he does not welcome the request for pharmacies to test for antigens. To support his personal position, he alluded to a statement from the Spanish Society for Infectious Diseases, in which he expressed his opinion on the matter.

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