SPAIN’S Council of Ministers has approved the end of mandatory mask wearing on public transport which is expected to be lifted on Wednesday.
Spain was one of the few remaining European countries to maintain the rule despite the lowest Covid-19 cases and hospital occupancy numbers since the start of the pandemic.
As of last Friday, 2,056 people were hospitalised with the coronavirus of which 150 were in Intensive Care Units.
With few restrictions, infections have not rebounded upwards since the last wave ended in July, and despite fears of an upturn during the winter.
Once the change to the Royal Decree is published in the Official State Gazette- probably tomorrow- masks will no longer need to be used on public transport.
Another change is that masks will not be required at hearing centres, opticians, and orthopaedic clinics- in other words health facilities that do not dispense medicine.
Health Minister, Carolina Darias, said: “It is another step in the response that we have been giving at every moment according to each epidemiological situation guided by experts.”
“The end of mask wearing on public transport is part of a phased roadmap to return to normality,” she added.
Masks remain compulsory in hospitals, health centres and clinics of all kinds.
The rule also remains for visits to pharmacies and for workers deployed in nursing homes.
Health authorities and experts still recommend masks to be worn voluntarily when in contact with vulnerable people in high-risk situations.