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Face masks still much in evidence, despite no longer being mandatory on public transport in Spain

Around half of the train, metro and bus passengers in Malaga continued to wear the controversial items on Wednesday, the first day when its use was optional in taxis too

IVÁN GELIBTER

MALAGA.

Thursday, 9 February 2023, 11:46

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On the first day of the controversial anti-Covid measure being optional rather than mandatory around half of the train, metro and bus passengers in Malaga continued to wear face masks on Wednesday.

Despite coronavirus data being at its best levels in three years, the Andalusian Council of Medical Colleges (CACM) has called for "prudence" after the end of the compulsory measure on public transport and took the opportunity to defend their use in closed and crowded places for those people who are suffering from respiratory problems.

"We ask for care since although the number of cases of Covid is low, there are still patients who are affected,” said its president, Jorge Fernández Parra, who qualified that if people are suffering from respiratory problems, for the protection of others they should wear a mask. In addition, he insisted that in the case of those patients who have low immunity, “it is also recommended that for their protection they use masks on public transport”.

Mask in taxis

As well as on public transport the use of masks in taxis is no longer mandatory. The president of the Andalusian Federation of Self-Employed Taxi Drivers (FAAT), Miguel Ruano, said that the members had taken the news in a “very positive” way, although they remained “prudent”.

"A high percentage of taxi drivers will continue to carry masks in their vehicles and they will use them with caution depending on the circumstance, for example, if they pick up a person from the hospital," he said.

As for passengers, Ruano highlighted that some, due to their age, continue to wear it even though it is not mandatory, while young people "who are the most reluctant to continue wearing it, do not use it."

Mandatory

Although wearing a mask is now one of personal choice on public transport it remains mandatory in hospitals, health centres and pharmacies. The vice president of the Andalusian Council of Official Colleges of Pharmacists (CACOF), Ernesto Cervilla, considers that the use of masks in pharmacies "is necessary", since it is a health establishment where "many sick and vulnerable people" go, "and that the mask “is a very effective measure with which many respiratory problems and infections are prevented”.

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