Spain ends mandatory use of face masks on public transport | spain

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The use of face masks has become mandatory on public transport in Spain, ending nearly three years of the government’s most visible anti-Covid measure.

On 4 May 2020, masks became mandatory on public transport after the Socialist-led coalition government introduced legislation, which stated that those using buses, taxis, trains, metro systems, airplanes or boats would have to wear them.

The government announced the abolition of the requirement on Tuesday, explaining it would take effect the following day. While the use of masks on public transport is now optional, they must still be worn by those visiting or working in health centres, hospitals, pharmacies and care homes for older people.

Spain, which responded to the pandemic with one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, last April removed the requirement to wear masks in indoor spaces such as workplaces, schools, concert halls and playgrounds.

“Today, we are taking an important step towards a long-awaited normality as part of our shared road map on COVID-19,” Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias tweeted on Wednesday.

Officials said the lifting of the requirement has been made possible because of Spain’s high vaccination rates.

The official state in the announcement, “Vaccine cover in Spain is above 92% of the population over the age of 12, while 94% of people over the age of 60 have received a booster, improving protection for that group.” does.” Bulletin.

“The efficacy of vaccines – which are estimated to be 90% effective in preventing severe cases and deaths from COVID-19 – and the high rate of coverage have made a significant difference in the epidemiology of COVID-19 in our country.”

In January 2022 England dropped the mandatory use of face masks on public transport. France followed suit four months later, but recommended people use it instead.

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Spain has so far recorded 13,740,531 cases of Covid and 118,712 deaths from the virus, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health.

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