The Spanish authorities have announced that the mask requirement will no longer be mandatory on public transport from February 7.
According to the government of Spain, such a decision has been taken after evaluating the current COVID-19 situation and taking into account the epidemiological stability, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Even though the government has decided to drop the mandatory mask requirement on public transport, it has been highlighted that the measure will continue to remain in force for healthcare workers as well as visitors entering such spaces healthcare facilities.
“The government will put an end to the obligation to wear a mask on public transport, but it will remain in health establishments and services and for workers and visitors to social health centres,” the statement of the Spanish government reads.
Commenting on the matter, the Minister of Health of Spain, Carolina Darias, said last week that the measure will be coordinated throughout the whole country as soon as the decision enters into force. Minister Darias further stressed that all the decisions that have been adopted so far have been agreed upon by the International Council of the National Health System.
Compared to the previous year, the number of Coronavirus infection cases in Spain has significantly dropped. World Health Organization data show that Spain has reported around 11,426 new COVID infection cases in the last seven days.
As for the vaccination rates, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reveals that Spain has administered a total of 112,037,461 vaccine doses as of January 26, 2023.
ECDC further shows that 85.9 per cent of the entire adult population in Spain have completed primary vaccination, another 67.4 per cent have received the first booster shot, and another 22.2 per cent have received the second booster shot.
Similar to Spain, Germany has also decided to lift the mandatory mask requirement on public transport. The German authorities announced earlier this month that starting from February 2, 2023, the mandatory mask requirement will no longer apply on buses as well as on long-distance trains.
The decision of Germany to drop such a requirement was also taken after considering the epidemiological situation and concluding that everything is under control.
The Minister of Health of Germany, Karl Lauterbach, welcomed the decision and stressed that the number of Coronavirus infection cases registered within the country has halved compared to December. Moreover, Minister Lauterbach stressed that the number of hospitalisations has dropped too, suggesting that the mask requirement is no longer necessary.