By Chris King • 26 January 2023 • 20:49
Image os passengers wearing masks on public transport.
Carolina Darias, the Minister of Health, announced today, Thursday, January 26, the date on which the mandatory use of masks on public transport in Spain will be eliminated. She confirmed that the approval will be made during the next Council of Ministers on February 7.
As of that day, once the modification of the state regulations is published in the Official State Gazette (BOE), the measure will enter into force. This will mean that wearing a mask on buses, subways, trains or internal flights will no longer be an obligation and will become a personal choice.
The regulations that regulate the use of masks will be modified only for means of public transport. After this, it will only be mandatory to wear a mask in health centres, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, and opticians.
It will still apply in nursing homes, where covering the nose and mouth will continue to be compulsory “both for the people who are going to visit these centres and for those who work there”, Darias indicated.
Darius argued that the decision had been made in light of the ‘very stable’ epidemiological situation in which Spain had found itself since the last wave of Omicron infections, as reported by 20minutos.es.
“We have a very stable epidemiological situation and, therefore, based on the proposal that the Alert Report has already made, I want to inform you that the next Council of Ministers on February 7 will raise the proposal to eliminate the obligation to wear masks on public transport”, announced Darias.
Upon learning of the minister’s announcement, Oscar Zurriaga, the President of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE), commented that: “with the information we have, the situation seems to be stable”.
In this context, the epidemiologists believed that: “it does not seem reasonable to maintain the measure over time beyond peak situations”, when the incidence of respiratory viruses increases. In fact, it was considered that this measure “could have been adopted months ago”.
In order to process the entire administrative part, Darias added in a few brief statements that next week she will convene the Interterritorial Council: “to participate in this measure and put it into effect at the Council of Ministers on February 7”.
The use of masks in Spain is regulated by Royal Decree, so the competition is state and its modification will have to be published in the Official State Gazette. This is expected to appear on the day after the approval in the Council of Ministers on February 7. As a result, the date on which the new standard will be published in the BOE and, therefore, will come into force is not yet known.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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