Tourists visiting Spain from today will be able to enjoy considerably more relaxed rules relating to the use of face masks.
The government has announced that masks will no longer be obligatory in indoor areas, including bars and restaurants – albeit with some exceptions. They will still have to be worn in hospitals, health centres and pharmacies, for air, rail and bus transport (but not in their vicinity – for example, airport terminals), and on boats when a safe distance (1.5 metres) cannot be guaranteed.
They are also still highly recommended for people considered to be especially vulnerable to contracting COVID, including those 60 years and over or with immunodeficient conditions or high-risk illnesses, and pregnant women.
According to minister for health Carolina Darias, the government has been able to adopt the new measures thanks to Spain’s high rates of COVID-19 vaccination and the improving epidemiological situation. She noted that 92 per cent of the population – 39 million people – had completed the full vaccination schedule, “which has resulted in rates of the illness descending and most of the country now being at a low level of risk”.
The decision to ease face mask use was reached earlier this month during a meeting in Toledo of the National Inter-Territorial Health System Council, comprising representatives of Spain’s 27 regions, including Murcia. According to Darias, those present were “almost unanimous” in approving the new measures.
Regions will have the freedom to adapt some of the new protocols but in general they will be required to follow the overall measures formally introduced nationally in today’s official government bulletin.
No longer will it be necessary to wear masks in events attracting large crowds – such as sports competitions and concerts (both outdoor and indoor) – but the regional governments retain the right to determine the maximum number of people allowed to attend these events.
Masks will not be obligatory in schools or workplaces, although in the latter case those responsible for health and safety will be able to evaluate the risks and establish specific preventative measures if necessary – such as the use of face masks.
For British tourists, up-to-date information about the use of face masks, and other coronavirus-related health and safety measures in Spain, is available on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice website.
No Face Masks Required on Norwegian Flights
Meanwhile, one of the main airlines servicing Corvera Airport Murcia has announced that face masks are no longer required on its flights, and others are expected to follow suit.
According to Norwegian, “As countries reduce or completely remove travel restrictions, thanks to extensive vaccination programmes, passengers will now be able to choose if they wish to wear a face mask or not.”
The airline said that, since requirements had first been lifted throughout Scandinavia in February, it had noticed increased passenger demand and optimism among both leisure and business travellers keen to book ahead. “The company is confident that travel will recover and thrive during the summer months ahead.”
Norwegian is still advising all passengers to check local requirements and guidance at their destination before travelling, including stops and connecting flights in Europe. “It is the responsibility of the passenger to comply with local regulations and restrictions. Those who still wish to wear a face mask on board are welcome to do so.”
In February, Norwegian announced the launch of two new routes between Norway and Corvera Airport Murcia: Oslo (beginning on 18 June) and Bergen (19 June).