Happy customers in a Palma bar with no masks on today. | Jaume Morey


It was all smiles across Mallorca today as Spain took another step toward a sense of normality amid the pandemic by partially ending the near two-year-long obligatory use of masks indoors.
The government decree, passed Tuesday, keeps masks mandatory for visitors and staff in medical centers and nursing homes, although patients won’t always be obliged to wear them.
Masks will also be mandatory on all forms of public transportation, but not in stations or airports.

It remained unclear what impact the decree will have on workplaces such as public and private company offices, banks, factories and stores as the government is letting employers decide to keep them in use if they deem there is a health risk.

In turn, they are recommended, but not obligatory, in multitudinous gatherings, in packed areas or in the presence of vulnerable people. Schools are also exempted from having to use them. Masks became obligatory indoors and outdoors shortly after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain early 2020.

The restriction for outdoor use was lifted in mid-2021, but reimposed between December and February amid a major surge of infections of the highly contagious omicron variant.

The Balearic Confederation of Business Associations have asked for more clarity over the wearing of masks in the workplace.