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Spain lifts face mask rule for public transport

People in Spain will no longer have to wear face masks on public transport, the government said Tuesday, ending one of the country’s last remaining rules against the coronavirus pandemic.

The rule requiring mask wearing on trains, buses and ferries will expire Wednesday but will still apply in hospitals, health centres and care homes, Health Minister Carolina Darias said.

The measure is possible because Spain’s Covid-19 “epidemiological situation is enormously stable at the moment,” she told a news conference after a weekly cabinet meeting.

Spain in April 2022 ended a nearly two-year rule requiring the use of masks indoors, keeping the obligation only for public transport, hospitals, health centres and care homes.

Masks became obligatory indoors and outdoors shortly after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Spain in early 2020.

The restriction for outdoor use was lifted in mid-2021, but reimposed between December and February amid a major surge of infections of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Spain, among the hardest-hit countries in the pandemic, managed to gain the upper hand against Covid-19 thanks to vaccinating over 90 percent of its population.