Spain is set to relax its face mask mandate, dropping the requirement to wear coverings outdoors as early as next week.
That means the new rules could be in effect for UK holidaymakers going to Spain from February 10.
Spain’s Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, dropped the news during a radio interview today as she confirmed the coronavirus safety measure will be dropped.
“The idea is that it will be published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on Wednesday and can be effective as of Thursday,” said the head of the Health portfolio.
She confirmed the updated mask rules will be a point of discussion on Monday in the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System.
Masks still have to be worn inside public places such as bars and restaurants, but there are different Covid rules still in force throughout Spain that vary in degree from region to region.
The outdoor mask mandate was brought back on Christmas Eve as another Covid surge hit the country due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Only fully vaccinated travellers are welcome in the country and the move comes after stricter proof of vaccination rules came into force on February 1.
Under new EU guidelines adopted by some countries, including France, there is effectively an ‘expiration date’ for jabs.
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The new rules specify that those who had their second jab for longer than 270 days (about nine months) before arrival will need to have gotten their booster dose.
The Spanish health minister had already announced during a visit to Mallorca last week that the mandatory nature of the mask would not extend more than the “minimum essential time” and that she was in favour of the measure being relaxed “as soon as possible.”
“I confirm that next Tuesday we will take the Royal Decree to the Council of Ministers by virtue of which we will eliminate the mandatory use of masks abroad,” Darias said.
Yesterday’s figures show the incidence in Spain dropped another 144 points, to 2,420 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Darias said the indicators “are improving” and “especially” the one that speaks of the level of circulation of the virus.