In pharmacies, the wearing of masks by customers is not always observed. | Jaume Morey

At Thursday's meeting of the Interterritorial Council for the National Health System, Spain's health minister, Carolina Darias, announced that masks will no longer be obligatory for some health establishments, e.g. opticians.

Masks will still be required in health centres, hospitals, care homes and pharmacies. These are the few remaining situations in which masks have to be worn, though it has to be said that with pharmacies, the wearing of masks by customers is often not strictly applied. For care homes, masks have to be worn by staff who are in contact with residents and by visitors when they are in shared areas. For public transport, masks will cease to be necessary.

Modification to the rules will be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday next week and will come into effect on Wednesday.

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Darias meanwhile stressed the importance of promoting Covid vaccination with the second booster dose, especially for vulnerable people.