20 Sep, 2022 @ 16:21
1 min read

Transport sector calls on government to finally scrap masks on Spain’s trains, buses and taxis

Ignacio Aguado Hace Balance De Las Actuaciones De Seguridad En El Transporte
Image Comunidad de Madrid

Spain’s transport sector is calling on the Spanish government to scrap obligatory masks on trains, buses and taxis and instead simply recommend the use of the anti-coronavirus measure. 

Aside from transport, there are very few areas in the country where masks are still obligatory: pharmacies, healthcare environments and care homes are the principal ones. According to the Association of Public, Urban and Metropolitan Transports (ATUC), their use on public transport “is not justified, neither by the figures nor the experts,” news agency Europa Press reported.  

Ignacio Aguado Hace Balance De Las Actuaciones De Seguridad En El Transporte
Transport sector calls on government to finally scrap masks on Spain’s trains, buses and taxis. Image Comunidad de Madrid

In Europe, Spain is one of the last countries to remove obligatory masks from its transport systems. More than 20 countries across the EU have scrapped them, including Ireland, the Netherlands and France. 

“ATUC also points out that it is not convenient to maintain measures that stigmatise public transport, which is the only resource that guarantees the mobility of citizens in an inclusive and sustainable way,” the association added. 

This week saw the government finally remove the need for any visitors to Spain via air or sea to present a health control form on arrival. 

According to the latest data from the Spanish Health Ministry, just 2% of the country’s hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, while the figure is as low as 1.7% for intensive care beds. 

Also on Tuesday, Health Minister Carolina Darias announced the arrival of 44 million new coronavirus vaccines in the last quarter of the year, with 16 million due to arrive in September. The doses, she added, offer a high protection against the omicron variant of the vaccine, which began to sweep through the Spanish population at the end of 2021. 

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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.

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