The Spanish government have announced that the obligatory wearing of facemasks outdoors will cease from Thursday 10th February.
The announcement comes amid a wider rollback of national and regional restrictions as the pandemic recedes in the country.
The Regional authorities in Aragon and Basque Country regions as well as in the Canary Islands have also lifted some restrictions on socialising.
Catalonia, scrapped the COVID pass requirement for bars and other public places a week ago.
Mask wearing outdoors was reinstated on 24th December to curb the spread of the emergent Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The Health Minister Carolina Darias told La SER radio station said that, “we said it would last only while it was strictly necessary,” and that as contagion rates and other indicators have been falling for several weeks, the government considers the COVID-19 situation to have eased.
Spain follows several other European countries that have begun to roll back COVID-related restrictions. Outdoor masks are no longer compulsory in the UK and France while Italy announced last week that it would release a timetable for a phase-out of restrictions.
Over the past two weeks, the COVID-19 contagion rate in Spain has steadily fallen.
The latest government Covid infection rate figures, released by the Health Ministry on Friday 4th February, show that the incidence rate fallen another 121 points to 2,299 per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days.
The incidence rate has fallen 779 points since last Friday. See below for the incidence rate for each region.
There remains wide regional variations with Madrid’s
Despite the surge in cases between November and January as Omicron spread, hospital admissions and deaths remain well below those seen in earlier waves of the pandemic. This is thanks largely to Spain’s high vaccination rate and Omicron’s apparent tendency to cause less serious illness than previous variants.
To date Spain has recorded some 10.2 million coronavirus cases of which just over 94,000 have been fatal.