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COVID-19 RULES

REMINDER: What are Spain’s mask rules for travel?

Do you still need to wear a mask on airplanes, trains and buses in Spain? And what about at airports, stations or on ferries? Here's what you need to know about when and where you need to wear a mask when it comes to travelling.

masks on the metro in Barcelona
Masks are still required on public transport in Spain. Photo: PAU BARRENA / AFP

On Wednesday April 20th 2022, the Spanish government officially dropped the requirement to wear masks indoors.

There a still a few places you need to wear them, but for the most part, it’s now up to citizens to decide whether they should wear a face mask or not in indoor public spaces.

READ ALSO: Where do you still need to wear a mask indoors in Spain? 

But what are the particular rules when it comes to travel? Do you still have to wear masks at Spanish airports and train stations and what about inside Uber or Cabify vehicles? Let’s take a look at exactly when masks are required when travelling and when they’re not.

The transport rules cover all modes of public transport including trains, metros, buses, planes, boats, ferries, trams, funiculars and cable cars, but let’s take focus on some of the most common ones. 

On May 11th, the EU recommended that Member States drop the mask rules for airports and airplanes from May 16th, but Spain has ruled out amending its regulations for now, and the mask rules for travel in the country are as follows:

Airports and planes

Masks are no longer required inside the airport terminals in Spain, such as when passing through security or passport control. However, once you leave the airport and board the plane itself, you must put your mask on and wear it for the duration of the flight, unless told otherwise by airline staff. 

The same rules apply to passengers and airport workers.

Stations and trains

Similarly, masks will not be required when entering train or metro stations or while waiting on the platform.

Once the train or metro arrives, you will be required to wear your mask to board and for the duration of the journey, before you can remove it again. The Official State Gazette (BOE) is very clear and states “It has been considered that the obligation to wear a mask should not be maintained for platforms and stations”.

Ports and ferries

In the case of boats and ferries, masks will not be required anywhere onboard, unless a safety distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained (except when you’re travelling alongside those you live with). It’s no longer necessary to wear a mask inside ports. 

Taxis

In this case, taxis are also considered to be public transport and therefore it’s mandatory for both the driver and the passenger to wear masks.

The same rule applies to ride services such as Uber and Cabify –  both parties must wear a mask while inside the vehicle at all times.

Private cars

Masks are no longer required in private vehicles when you’re travelling with others who you don’t live with. This means that there are now no more mask rules regarding your own private transportation.

But what about car sharing such as Blablacar or urban car rentals like Zity and Car2go? Masks will also no longer required on these methods of transport, whether travelling with those you live with or not. 

READ ALSO: Why you now need to book a rental car in advance in Spain

Are there still fines in place for not wearing a mask on public transport?

Yes, the fine for not wearing your mask on public transport continues to be the same at €100.

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TRAVEL NEWS

‘Only the rich will travel’: How EU rules could cost Spain 11 million tourists

EU measures to reduce the aviation sector's net emissions by 2050 could have a huge impact on Spain's tourism industry and economy, the country's main airline and tourism associations have warned.

'Only the rich will travel': How EU rules could cost Spain 11 million tourists

Leading airline bosses have warned that EU plans to reduce the aviation industry’s net emissions to zero by 2050 could have a major impact on the Spanish tourism sector, with potential losses of 11 million international tourists a year, according to a report.

The startling figure comes from a report made by consulting firm Deloitte, who estimate that the loss of tourists could mean a reduction in Spain’s GDP by around 1.6 percent (roughly €23 billion) and the loss of 430,000 jobs by 2030. 

The economic impact would be felt across different sectors, too, with the hospitality sector projected to lose €3.6 billion, and the new tax measures on aviation alone would mean a 0.9 percent drop in GDP and 236,000 jobs lost.

READ ALSO: Spain eyes tourism record after ‘dazzling’ summer surge

For a country like Spain, whose tourism sector makes almost 13 percent of its overall GDP, the socioeconomic effects could be dramatic.

Spain is the second most visited tourist destination in the world, with over 80 million visitors a year, and it is expected that it could be one of the countries most effected by the incoming changes to the aviation sector as eight out of every ten international visitors to Spain come by plane.

The Deloitte report was presented at an event jointly held by the ALA, Spain’s airline association, and the CEOE, its business federation, during which the presidents of both bodies met with the bosses of some of the biggest airlines in the Spanish market.

‘Only the rich will travel’

The environmental measures wouldn’t only have an impact on the Spanish economy or its big airlines, however.

At the meeting Jesús Cierco, Corporate Director at Iberia Express, expressed his fear that “these measures will make only the elites able to travel,” suggesting that any increased costs to the aviation industry could be passed down to the consumer. These include the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) , the restriction of emission rights, the application of a tax on kerosene and the possible application of a €7.85 tax on airline tickets.

The Deloitte report suggests that the use of sustainable fuel to meet the 2050 deadline, which is as much as 6 times more expensive than normal fuel, combined with a tax on kerosene and reduced CO2, which will also become more expensive, mean that costs could rise for the consumer – in this case tourists hoping for cheap flights abroad. 

READ ALSO: How Spain is imposing caps on visitor numbers for its top attractions

Javier Gándara, president of ALA, explained that “airlines are committed to achieving zero net emissions by 2050 and we are already on the path of decarbonisation.”

“The sector agrees with the environmental measures that contribute to achieving this goal,” he added, “and we are willing to assume an extra cost to the extent that they contribute to the decarbonisation of the sector.”

Gándara did however warn that the measures could have an “impact on the tourism sector,” something he considers “an economic pillar for Spain.”

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