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COVID-19 RULES

Your answers: Will you continue wearing a mask indoors in Spain?

As masks are no longer required indoors in most situations in Spain, we decided to find out how many of you will continue wearing one and how many will not. Here's what you had to say on the issue.

wearing a mask while shopping
Your answers - will you wear a mask indoors or not? Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

After exactly 700 days of being required to wear a mask indoors, Spaniards and foreigners in Spain were finally allowed to decide whether to wear a face covering or not in most indoor public settings after the rules were changed on Wednesday April 20th. 

We looked at if Spain is really ready to get rid of masks indoors, by analysing the social effects and finding out what the experts had to say, but we also wanted to find out what our readers had to say about it. 

A total of 232 people responded to our survey asking readers if they would continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces in Spain. 

READ ALSO: How masks became an integral part of life Spain 

Out of those, 46.1 percent said that they won’t continue wearing their masks and ‘will only do so when it’s required’, such as on public transport. 25.9 percent or around a quarter said that they will continue to wear their masks indoors ‘all or most of the time’ and 28 percent said that ‘it will depend on the place and situation’ as to whether they decide to wear one or not.

Out of the people who said they would continue to wear a mask indoors all or most of the time, the majority cited health issues or fear of contracting the virus as their reason. Readers listed issues such as asthma, fear of being particularly vulnerable to Covid because of old age and pregnancy as reasons that they will continue to wear them. Some people were also worried about vaccines not being effective, the emergence of new variants and long Covid. 

 

One reader summed up the sentiments perfectly by saying they would continue to wear one “Just because it is no hassle to do so and it is safer for myself and others. When it becomes clear that covid really has ‘changed’ into a common virus I might reconsider. But not yet”.

Another said: “It’s not hard at all (except for the glasses steaming up, but I’ve switched to contacts). Getting ill isn’t pleasant or practical, especially for the self-employed, and I haven’t even caught a cold in two years. It’s a visual reminder to be careful. And my wife is pregnant”.

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

Just under half of the respondents said that now masks are no longer required indoors, they won’t be wearing them. The majority of these people claimed that masks don’t work in stopping the spread of the virus. Many thought that masks weren’t necessary anymore, while a couple of people simply stated that they don’t like wearing them.

One reader commented that “The social damage of non-visual communication is far higher than the protection of a mask indoors. Masks are making us humans numb”, citing social reasons for not wanting to wear one anymore.

Another added that “We need to engage our immune systems and live life”, clearly fed up with all the restrictions placed on us over the past two years.

Finally, 28 percent of respondents said they would decide on whether to wear a mask or not depending on the situation. Most people said that they would continue wearing them in crowded indoor venues or places where a distance between people couldn’t be maintained.

One reader explained a sensible approach: “If the indoor setting is very crowded ie. a cinema or a concert then yes, I will continue to wear one. If shops or shopping centres are particularly busy or congested, then I would wear one too, in order to help prevent others from getting Covid”.

Member comments

  1. Astonished at the number of people who still think wearing a mask will prevent you from getting COVID. Wearing a mask will help prevent others from getting it but if everyone else is not wearing one it will have zilch effect on you getting it. I will be wearing mine to help others & hopefully others will do the same but I doubt it.

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TRAVEL NEWS

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

Britons, Americans and other non-EU/Schengen travellers who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered from Covid-19 will not be able to visit Spain for tourism for at least another month, Spanish authorities have confirmed.

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

The Spanish government has again extended temporary restrictions for non-essential travel (including tourism) from most third countries for another month, until June 15th 2022.

That means that non-EU/Schengen adults who reside outside of the EU and who haven’t been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or recovered from the illness in the past six months cannot go on holiday to Spain during the next month. 

Therefore, Spain continues to not accept negative Covid-19 tests from British, American, Canadian, Indian or other third-country nationals who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered. 

There had been hopes that the shorter two-week extension to the ban on non-essential travel issued on April 30th, as well as talk of the “orderly and progressive reopening” of the country’s borders, would mean that unvaccinated third country nationals would be allowed into Spain in May.

But in the end, Saturday May 14th’s state bulletin confirmed that Spain will keep the same measures in place for another 31 days, stating that they “will eventually be modified to respond to a change of circumstances or to new recommendations in the context of the European Union”.

Spain’s ban on unvaccinated non-EU travellers is arguably the last major Covid-19 restriction in place in the country, and other EU countries such as Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Ireland are allowing unvaccinated tourists in.

This latest announcement by the Spanish government marks the umpteenth extension to non-essential travel from outside of the EU/Schengen area over the past two years of the pandemic, the previous one was due to expire on May 15th. 

But perhaps this extension is the most surprising, as the Spanish health ministry has modified its rulebook to treat Covid-19 like the flu and the country wants to recover the tourism numbers it had pre-pandemic.

The ban affects unvaccinated British tourists in particular, as the UK is still the biggest tourism market for Spain, but Britons’ non-EU status means they have to follow the same Covid-19 travel rules as other third-country nationals.

Vaccinated or recovered third-country travellers

Those who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 more than two weeks prior to travel to Spain will need to show a valid vaccination certificate with an EMA or WHO approved vaccine.

If their initial vaccination treatment was completed more than 9 months ago (270 days), they’ll need to show they’ve had a Covid-19 booster shot. 

As for non-EU/Schengen travellers who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, they will need to show a recovery certificate to prove this

According to Spain’s Health Ministry, recovery certificates accepted as valid are those “issued at least 11 days after the first positive NAAT or RAT, and up to a maximum of 180 days after the date of sampling”, as well as being issued by the relevant authorities.

Exceptions

In early February, Spanish authorities also decided to start allowing unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen teenagers aged 12 to 17 to visit Spain for tourism if they provided a negative PCR.

Spain continues to have a small list of low-risk third countries whose travellers visiting Spain for non-essential reasons can enter without having to present proof of Covid-19 testing, recovery or vaccination. 

This is updated weekly and can be checked here by clicking on the PDF under “risk and high risk countries/areas”. 

READ ALSO: Can I travel to my second home in Spain if I’m not vaccinated?

If you’re not vaccinated or recovered, the exceptions for travel to Spain from third countries that fall under the non-essential travel restrictions are:

  • You are a resident in the EU or Schengen country.
  • You have a visa for a long duration stay in an EU or Schengen country.
  • You work in transport, such as airline staff or are in a maritime profession.
  • You work in diplomatic, consular, international organisations, military or civil protection or are a member of a humanitarian organisation.
  • You have a student visa for a country in the EU or Schengen zone.
  • You are a highly qualified worker or athlete whose work cannot be postponed or carried out remotely.
  • You are travelling for duly accredited imperative family reasons.
  • You are allowed entry due to force majeure or on humanitarian grounds.
  • And as mentioned earlier in the article, if you have a vaccination certificate that Spain’s Ministry of Health recognises, as well as for any accompanying minors (unless they’re under 12 years of age).

READ ALSO: When do I need to fill out Spain’s Covid health control form for travel?

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