Two European countries that were among the last to cling on to an indoor mask mandate have now officially dropped their mask wearing requirements.
Spain and Portugal, two heavyweights of European tourism and popular vacation destinations for travelers from all over the world, made the changes to their mask policies just this week, a move that is bound to put the two Iberian countries back on the map for millions of tourists this summer.
With these changes being made, travel to Europe has never been closer to normal than at any stage during the pandemic so far. Here’s a closer look at what exactly is set to change in Spain and Portugal – including in which situations masks are still expected to be worn by travelers – plus a recap of which European countries have ditched the masks already and which are yet to do so.
Spain Drops Mask Requirement – Information For Travelers
Spain’s decision to drop the indoor mask mandate became official on April 20th. The change means that travelers visiting the country will now no longer have to wear a mask in establishments such as bars, cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres, sports stadiums, concert halls, shopping centers, supermarkets, gyms, and schools – making the experience of visiting Spain for many travelers just like it was in pre-pandemic times.
Travelers will however be expected to wear masks in the following situations:
- Hospitals and other health-related businesses such as dental clinics and pharmacies
- Care homes
- On public transport, which includes airplanes, buses, trains, metros, taxis and ferries
It is also recommended that people who are over 60, immunosuppressed or pregnant should carry on wearing masks when appropriate indoors. Masks are also recommended in crowded spaces when social distancing isn’t possible.
Portugal Eases Mask Mandate – What Travelers Should Know
Spain’s neighbor Portugal has also removed their indoor mask mandate this week, with the change going live from April 21st. The change to the policy means that travelers will now no longer be required to wear a mask when visiting several different types of indoor establishments, such as restaurants, cafes, shopping centres and museums. The removal of the indoor mask mandate was made possible due to low infection and high vaccination rates in the country.
As is the case with Spain, there are still some exceptions to the rule which means that masks will still be required in some situations. This includes when using all types of public transport. Masks will also need to be worn by travelers when visiting healthcare institutions and places that are frequented by vulnerable people in order to minimize the potential spread of the virus in such places.
In removing their indoor mask mandate, Portugal and Spain have joined several other European nations that have also waved goodbye to face masks in recent weeks.
These include popular destinations such as the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Netherlands, Croatia, Poland, Latvia, France, Czechia, Germany, and Romania.
Whilst Italy still has a mask mandate in place, it is expected to repeal it next month.
In order to enter Spain, travelers must either be fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, with no testing requirements in place. Travelers to Portugal must either be vaccinated against Covid-19, have a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival or an antigen test within 24 hours of arrival. The need to fill in a passenger locator form prior to entering Portugal has also been removed.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Saturday 23rd of April 2022
The vaccines do not work! Stop writing about it like it's actually working, you're making people believe it's working when you say cases are down because of vaccination. Those "vaccines" don't stop covid from going around. Absolutely terrible!
Tuesday 26th of April 2022
@AyL, Firstly, good luck getting anybody to "stop spewing false narratives." It'll never happen, and it shouldn't. We don't need more censorship on the internet, we need less. Secondly, while I agree with you on what you said about vaccinations, the fact is that governments in many places have attempted to keep in place draconian mask mandates and other unnecessarily harsh measures long after people got vaccinated, even though the same government officials promised an easing of these measures once vaccinations became available. They just like having power over people. I am fully vaccinated (4 times, in fact) so I am no anti-vaxxer. But we need to show the same contempt we reserve for those spewing false narratives to those who try and keep societies locked down just because they can.
Tuesday 26th of April 2022
@Timon, this is false. It has been fact checked and there is no evidence to point to this.
Sunday 24th of April 2022
@AyL, they never slowed transmission, if anything they did the opposite. they hurtly perfectly normal people. just look on wikipedia how many footballers died from heart failure this year im comparison with other years.. yeah, ofcourse its not related, youngsters have always had heart attacks.
Saturday 23rd of April 2022
@CommonSense, the point of vaccines is to slow transmission and prevent hospitalization. NO official body ever claimed it will stop covid in its tracks so pls stop spewing false narratives. the vaccines did its job in preventing hospitalizations but it's now the fault of governments to keep things locked down because they're scared an unstoppable bubonic plague variant is created. understood but we need our normal back after 2.5 years