Spain lifts mandatory indoor Covid mask rule for bars, shops and restaurants

Spain has relaxed its indoor face covering mandate for the first time in nearly two years. People no longer need to wear face masks in public places, such as bars, restaurants, shops and cinemas.

This is the first time in almost 700 days that it is not necessary to wear a Covid mask indoors. However, face coverings remain mandatory on public transport, in hospitals, medical centres, retirement homes and care homes.

They are still encouraged in enclosed public spaces, at large gatherings and around clinically vulnerable people. However, they are not essential at airports and train stations.

Carolina Darias, Spain’s Minister of Health, said: “The mask has undoubtedly been one of the most identifiable measures in the last two years and it will no longer be compulsory. They will continue to be with us as an element of protection, especially for the most vulnerable.

Although no longer mandatory, masks are still encouraged in enclosed public spaces, at large events and around clinically vulnerable people.

The UK Foreign Office website states: “The Spanish Government recommends that you use [masks] in the following circumstances: enclosed public spaces such as shops, cinemas, bars and restaurants, at large events (e.g. concerts, sporting events), when in the company of people considered clinically vulnerable or at high risk and when Social distancing of 1.5m cannot be observed, during family gatherings, in any other enclosed common space open to the public. »

Masks became compulsory indoors and outdoors shortly after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in Spain in early 2020. The restriction on outdoor use was temporarily relaxed in mid -2021, but reimposed between December 2021 and February 2022 amid a wave of infections of the Omicron variant.

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