29th May 2024
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Spain calls an end to obligatory use of face masks in hospitals, pharmacies

The Spanish government on Tuesday declared an end to the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and said that people will no longer have to wear face masks in hospitals, health and care centres, nor in pharmacies.

Over the past two years, Spain has gradually ended the mandatory mask wearing, first in public and then on public transport.

The country has registered 14 million cases and 122,000 deaths from Coronavirus since 2020.

The government approved the measure at its weekly cabinet meeting and it will take effect once it’s published in the State Gazette in the coming days, expected to be Wednesday or Thursday.

While Covid-19 is still around, ‘it is very controlled’, José Miñones, Spain’s Health Minister, said in a press briefing on Tuesday, adding that it was time to ‘put an end to the health crisis, and all the extraordinary measures’. 

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, trams and also taxis (even with one driver and passenger) – but not while waiting in bus or train stations, on platforms or in airports in Spain.

In February 2023, the compulsory wearing of face masks on public transport in Spain was also finally lifted.

Click here for all our reports on Covid-19 in Spain.

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