Spain to drop indoors mask rule from April 20

Published: 08:33 PM, 6 Apr, 2022
Spain to drop indoors mask rule from April 20
Caption: Spain to drop indoors mask rule from April 20.
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Spain's government said Wednesday it will drop a requirement to wear face masks indoors, except in hospitals and on public transport, from April 20 due to declining Covid-19 infections.

"Thanks to the very high level of immunisation which the population has, the epidemiological situation is currently very favourable," Health Minister Carolina Darias told reporters as she announced the measure.

Advisors recommended lifting the indoor face mask rule after Easter week which ends on April 17 and the government will pass a decree to end it during the cabinet meeting on April 19, she said.

The decree will come into effect when it is published in the official government gazette the following day, she said after talks with regional health officials in city of Toledo near Madrid. 

Face masks will still be required inside health centres, hospitals, retirement homes as well as on public transportation, Darias said.

Spain, one of the hardest hit nations during the first wave of the pandemic in early 2020, stopped mandatory outdoor mask use in February although many people still wear one in crowded areas.

The country first imposed obligatory mask-wearing outdoors in May 2020, but lifted it in June last year. 

It reimposed the measure just before Christmas as Covid cases exploded due to the highly-contagious Omicron variant. 

Last month Spain ended a requirement that people with mild cases of Covid-19 self-isolate as part of a shift towards treating the virus as an endemic illness like flu.

Spain also stopped testing people with symptoms or who were in close contact with an infected person.

Testing now focuses on vulnerable people, such as those over 60, caregivers, pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised.

Spain has one of the world's highest Covid-19 vaccination rates, with 92.4 percent of those over the age of 12 fully immunised against the virus.

The country has so far recorded 102,747 deaths from Covid-19.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.