Passengers on the Madrid Metro wearing masks in 2022, Source: Depositphotos

Spain finally bids adios to face masks on transport

Spain finally bids adios to face masks on transport

The only European country left where the anti-pandemic mandate still applies is Austria

As of today, 8 February, face masks are no longer compulsory on Spanish public transport, making the country one of the last to liberate the anti-COVID restriction and return to pre-pandemic normalcy. With that, the only remaining stronghold of caution on the continent is Austria where FFP2 masks are still obligatory when riding on public transit.

The scrapping of the masks was officially anointed by the Spanish health minister Carolina Darias at a press conference yesterday where she cited the “great stability” achieved in recent months regarding infection rates. This, in turn, was attributed to the successful vaccination campaign which has seen 75% of people over 80 get their second booster shot.

Masks are still required in hospitals, though

According to the latest figures, corresponding to last Friday, there were just 50.7 positive Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population in the age bracket of over 60 in the past two weeks.

In hospitals too, Covid-19 now makes up for a small fraction of the patients who need care - just 1.6% of hospitalizations and 1.7% of intensive care units are currently in use for coronavirus treatment, according to Darias.

That being said, health authorities recommend "responsible use" of face masks if people feel Covid-19 symptoms or have respiratory issues. 

Last week, Spain's health minister informed regional ministers that people will still have to wear face masks in hospitals and pharmacies, as will care home staff and visitors, but not residents.

It seems that Covid-19 has become a manageable public health issue. The transmission rate has been very low in the past few weeks despite the fact that winter is thought to be the top time of the year for the spread of respiratory diseases.



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