7 Sep, 2022 @ 17:07
1 min read

Could the days of wearing masks on Spain’s public transport be coming to an end?

The Gran Vía Metro Station Reopens In Madrid After 1,000 Days Closed
Image Cordon Press

While the use of facemasks as a means of preventing the spread of Covid-19 has long been abandoned in the United Kingdom, in Spain it is still a regular sight. Currently, people in the country must wear a covering when on public transport, in taxis, in healthcare settings and pharmacies, among other settings. But could their days be numbered in Spain too?

The Spanish government is calling for “caution” ahead of the autumn, when there could be an uptick in infections as people spend more time indoors in unventilated spaces. But right now, case numbers are very low, as are the number of hospital beds occupied by coronavirus cases: such patients account for 2.52% of regular beds and 2.74% of intensive care unit beds according to the latest figures from the Health Ministry.

The Gran Vía Metro Station Reopens In Madrid After 1,000 Days Closed
Could the days of wearing masks on Spain’s public transport be coming to an end? Image Cordon Press

In such a context, does it make sense for people to still be wearing the coverings in Spain, especially given how often they are incorrectly fitted, not covering the nose and even sometimes the mouth? 

Experts consulted by Spanish daily El Dario stated that it still makes sense to use them in healthcare settings and pharmacies, in order to help protect the most vulnerable. But they also point to the fact that their use on public transport, such as the Metro, has little effect if not accompanied by better ventilation and more trains to prevent crowding. 

Pedro Gullón, an epidemiologist from Spain’s Alcalá de Henares University, told the newspaper that it never made sense to him to “just keep masks on public transport”, as this would never avoid a new wave of infections. “This is a lack of understanding of what has happened to us in the last two-and-a-half years,” he told El Diario. “If the case arises where we have serious transmission, that’s when we need to think about new measures.”

Right now, only European countries such as Germany, Greece and Italy still require the use of masks on public transport. Thanks to the high levels of vaccination in Spain, the experts said, the country could be the next to follow suit and lift their obligatory use. 


Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo with new UK Prime Minister Lizz Truss
Previous Story

Chief Minister calls new UK Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary ‘great friends of Gibraltar’

Airliner Stock Stansted
Next Story

Ryanair expects record passenger numbers in Spain, announces 52 new routes

Latest from Health

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press