2nd April 2023
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Face masks in Spain now only required at hospitals, pharmacies & care homes

Face masks are no longer required on public transport in Spain, after the new rules were published in the Boletín Official del Estado (BOE) on Thursday.

Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias tweeted: ‘Today we take an important step towards the long-awaited normality, within the shared roadmap against Covid-19. Masks are no longer mandatory on public transport.’

At a press conference on Tuesday, Darias spoke of the ‘great stability’ that Spain is seeing regarding the pandemic in recent months, and praised the vaccination campaign as part of the reason for relaxing the measure, contributing to the ‘clear downward trend’ of the health crisis. 

The health authorities still recommend ‘responsible use’ of face masks if people feel they have Covid-19 symptoms or have respiratory issues. 

Face masks will remain obligatory for visitors to hospitals and pharmacies, as well as for care home staff and visitors, but not residents.

Up until Thursday, the only Covid-19 restriction remaining in place in Spain – other than wearing face masks at hospitals, pharmacies and care homes – was the compulsory wearing of a face mask on planes, buses and other means of public transport, but not inside airports, stations or other transport hubs. 

In June 2020, Spain first made the wearing of face masks compulsory indoors and outdoors, for everyone aged over six if ‘social distancing’ could not be maintained. At the time, the former health minister Salvador Illa had said that the compulsory use of face masks would remain in place ‘until a vaccine is found’.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that face masks would no longer be required outdoors in Spain from 26 June 2021, except if a safe distance of 1.5m could not be maintained with people outside your closest social bubble. The rules for wearing face masks outside again were then reinforced from 24 December 2021.

In April 2022, Spain finally ended the compulsory use of face masks in most indoor settings.However, it remained compulsory to still wear face masks on all public transport, including on trains, coaches, planes, ferries, cable cars, tramsand also taxis (even with one driver and passenger) – but not while waiting in bus or train stations, on platforms or in airports in Spain.

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