MORE THAN three years after the coronavirus pandemic first hit Spain, the health minister has suggested that the time may have arrived to remove obligatory masks in the last few settings where they are still required. 

Currently, the face coverings must still be worn in healthcare centres such as hospitals and doctors surgeries, care homes and pharmacies.

But on Friday, Health Minister Jose Miñones said that the board that brings together Spain’s regional health systems would be meeting at the end of June to debate whether or not to scrap the requirements altogether.

“This needs to be done with rigour, and done seriously,” he said on Friday during a radio interview reported by news agency Europa Press. 

He added that Spain is moving closer to the ‘recommended’ use of masks in these settings rather than the ‘obligatory’ use, but he added that they were still important for protection not just against Covid-19 but also other respiratory viruses. 

The minister also explained that the over-80s would be offered vaccination against the coronavirus from October onward in Spain, and that the vaccine used would be Hipra, which has been developed and manufactured in the Catalonia region. 

Until February of this year, face masks were also obligatory on public transport in Spain, a measure that was scrapped by the Cabinet along with a requirement to wear them in opticians’, hearing centres and orthopaedic centres.

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