The Spanish Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, announced that the country’s obligatory use of face masks on public transport will end on 8 February.
Speaking to reporters in Madrid the minister said that this will follow immediately after the cabinet meet next week to “ remove the mandatory use of masks on public transport.”
“I will raise the proposal of eliminating the mandatory use of masks on public transport”, she said, adding that next week she will convene with the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System to “put this measure into effect”.
Once the cabinet agree the measure needs to be published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) to take legal effect,
Spain is one of the few countries where the wearing of face masks on public transport including all mainline trains, metro, taxis, buses and even for flights is still maintained.
Last month the Spanish Association of Airlines publicly reprimanded Spain’s face mask requirement on Spanish aircraft and others overflying Spanish airspace.
For the latter, which requires all passengers to wear face masks on international airlines while flying over Spanish airspace, the association described the measure as “pointless.”
The move will come 32 months after Spain first made the wearing of face masks compulsory indoors and outdoors, for everyone aged over six if ‘social distancing’ could not be maintained and would be in place “until a vaccine is found”.
Spain´s vaccine rollout started in December 2020.
Spain ended the compulsory use of face masks in April of last year.
It is unclear if the present obligation of wearing face masks will continue in pharmacies, hospitals and healthcare centres.
According to the Spanish health figures nearly 120,000 people have died as a result of the coronavirus.