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Covid: Spain bids a farewell to masks, PM says outdoor use will end on June 26

Jack Troughton | June 18, 2021
Pedro Sanchez

MANDATORY wearing of masks outdoors in Spain will end on June 26 promised Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez today as he attended a Barcelona business conference.

He said his Cabinet would stage an extraordinary meeting next Thursday to discuss the move, which will include having to issue a royal decree to overturn coronavirus restrictions.

A long-awaited announcement as regional Covid-19 health rules ease, it comes as the vaccination rollout accelerates and the incidence of coronavirus falls to levels not seen since last august.

As he took to his feet to address the Barcelona audience, the premier said: “I would like to start my speech by making a very important announcement for the 47 million compatriots in our country.

“I would like to say to you that we are going to hold an extraordinary Cabinet meeting on Thursday at which we are going to propose that masks no longer be obligatory in open spaces from Saturday, June 26.”

The change comes as Spain approaches the high season for visitors and other European countries like Germany and France also relax regulations involving the wearing of facemasks.

Currently in Spain masks must be worn by people aged over six, even when social distancing can be observed. However, experts have repeatedly called for an end to compulsory mask wearing outdoors, saying there is no evidence that their use away from crowds has any effective impact.