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Spain’s health minister has hinted that people may soon be able to stop wearing masks on public transport. Carolina Darias did not give a specific date for this.
However, Andalusia’s president, Juanma Moreno said he was not impressed by her remarks and said the region would follow the mask-wearing rule as long as possible.
Andalusia is one of Spain’s top tourist regions and the location of popular Costa del Sol resorts such as Marbella.
Moreno said that people, and especially those that are vulnerable, should continue to wear masks in indoor crowded places.
The regional Government has also decided to reintroduce a booking system for visits to nursing homes.
Anyone who is currently hospitalised with Covid in the region will be tracked as happened during the pandemic.
The region’s health minister, Catalina Garcia, said: “It is our obligation to constantly evaluate the epidemiological situation in Andalucia, as part of our routine and Public Health surveillance.
“We have circumstances in our environment that deserve special attention, such as the arrival of winter, the increase in cases in nursing homes, the new variants and the situation that is being experienced in China.”
Garcia said there was “no data” to show that any of the new variants were more severe than those already circulating.
She told people to remain calm as cases are currently stable in Andalucia and numbers are lower than in other regions.
Tourists must wear face masks on public transport in Spain and are encouraged to wear a mask in crowded spaces.
Spain is one of the last countries in Europe to maintain a face mask rule, although this could soon be scrapped by the national Government.
The Mediterranean country is expected to remain one of the UK’s most popular destinations in 2023.
Only travellers arriving from China are required to show proof of vaccination or take a test to enter Spain.
Tourists need to wear face masks in pharmacies, medical centres and care homes and will need to book a visit if they want to see someone in a nursing home.
They should follow any safety measures put in place in hotels, restaurants, bars or other hospitality venues.
People are advised to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly and use hand sanitizer frequently.
Face masks must cover the mouth and nose and are also advised at enclosed public spaces or large events.
If tourists test positive for Covid during their stay, they are not required to isolate but should inform their direct contacts.
They should also wear a mask for 10 days from diagnosis or the start of symptoms and avoid contact with high risk people.
Tourists who have tested positive should also reduce social interactions and avoid crowded or large events.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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