Spain plans major change to Covid rules
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Spain is the UK’s leading holiday destination and millions of Britons travel there every year. The country has announced it is planning to change its rules on mask wearing.
Health minister Carolina Darias, said the Government is planning to change the rule on February 7.
The minister said that the country was now in a stable place with Covid and health services had proposed lifting the restriction.
Masks are expected to remain compulsory in health facilities such as hospitals and care homes.
Darias said: “I’ll bring the proposal to scrap the obligation to wear masks in public transportation to the cabinet meeting to be held on February 7.”
Spain is one of just a few European countries to still require people to wear masks on public transport.
Germany, Austria and Greece also require tourists and residents to wear masks on some public transport.
In Spain, mask wearing on public transport became compulsory in May 2020, soon after the pandemic broke out.
Germany is planning to lift its rule, which applies to long distance journeys, on February 2. Greece could change its rules at the end of January.
Until the rules are officially changed, British tourists will still need to wear a mask on public transport in Spain.
They will also need to wear one in taxis or transfers from the airport to their hotel or holiday accommodation.
Some areas, including the Costa del Sol, have urged people to continue wearing masks in crowded places.
Although it isn’t mandatory, Andalucia’s health chief advised people to wear masks if distancing wasn’t possible.
Spain’s current mask rules (FCDO)
- The use of face coverings is mandatory for anyone over the age of 6 years if you are in the following situations:
- on any form of public transport in Spain
- visiting a hospital or medical centre (including other healthcare settings such as dentists, opticians, pharmacies etc.)
- visiting a care or nursing home
- Face masks must cover the nose and mouth.
In addition to the mandatory use of face masks in the above situations, the Spanish government recommends you use them responsibly 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 high-risk and social distancing of 1.5m cannot be observed
- at family gatherings
- in any other enclosed communal spaces open to the public
British tourists don’t need to show proof of vaccination or take a travel test to visit Spain, unless they’re arriving from China.
If tourists develop symptoms of Covid while in Spain, they are not required to isolate but should inform direct contacts.
Tourists are also advised to reduce their social interactions and avoid crowded spaces for 10 days.
They should also wear a mask in public spaces and follow any Covid measures enforced by their hotel.
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