Spain to Introduce Mandatory Mask Wearing on Public Transport

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JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, announced on Saturday that the wearing of masks will be made mandatory on public transport as the country begins to ease the national lockdown restrictions that were set in place in March.

In a televised address, the socialist leader said that the country would begin opening up “bit by bit”, saying that “these are small comforts that are coming in doses, and may appear insufficient, but are important.”

Sanchez said that the government will be supplying public transport hubs with six million masks, with an additional seven million to be distributed to local governments, stressing that collective social responsibility will be the key in continuing to open up the country, according to El Pais.

It was not revealed whether the government will be implementing fines for refusing to wear masks in public, as was introduced in Germany earlier this week.

“We are starting out with a lot of uncertainty,” Sanchez said, adding: “It is possible that we are making mistakes. We are taking decisions that no one has taken before.”

The prime minister also announced that starting on Monday small businesses, such as bookstores and hardware stores will be permitted to allow one customer per employee, provided that appointments are made beforehand.

Sanchez went on to say that despite the easing of restrictions, he will be requesting an extension to the emergency powers that were granted to the government on March 14th, saying that “there is no Plan B”.

The socialist leader will likely need the support of the right-wing parties in the country, such as the Popular Party (PP) and Vox, in order to secure another extension, as he lacks an outright majority.

Spain has been one of the countries hardest-hit by the Chinese coronavirus, with over 25,000 deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic.

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