Spain keeps face mask rule in public transport and health centres

In an interview published on Sunday (17 April) by El País, Darias clarified that masks to prevent new outbreaks of COVID-19 would also be mandatory in pharmacies. [Shutterstock/Maridav]

Face masks will be mandatory in public transport and health centres “with no exceptions” as of Wednesday, Health Minister Carolina Darias has warned.

In an interview published on Sunday (17 April) by El País, Darias clarified that masks to prevent new outbreaks of COVID-19 would also be mandatory in pharmacies.

“They (face masks) will be mandatory inside (health) centres, (health) services and health establishments. That is to say: in hospitals and blood transfusion centres, but it will be obligatory in pharmacies too (…),” she said, quoted by EFE.

A Royal Decree to be approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers on Tuesday (19 April) will also maintain the mandatory use of masks in transport “by air, rail, bus, metro and boat, indoors, in case a social distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained”. “There is no exception (to the rule) in public transport”, the minister pointed out, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported

Even if the wearing of facemasks in Spain will no longer be mandatory from Wednesday (20 April), the minister asked citizens to act responsibly and determine whether it would be better to wear them, particularly when interacting with vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly.

Darias did not rule out the possibility of administering a fourth COVID-19 dose, in particular to the most vulnerable, such as the immunosuppressed patients, “for (people) over 80 years”, and transplant and cancer patients.

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