News Alerts

03 May 2020 | 04:00 AM UTC

Spain: Authorities make wearing of masks compulsory in public transport as of May 4 /update 19

Spain News Alert

Spanish authorities announce that as of May 4 the public will be required to wear masks when using public transport; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/3/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/3/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Madrid). COUNTRY/REGION Spain

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Event

Spain has announced that the wearing of facemasks will be compulsory on public transport nationwide as of Monday, May 4, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stated that millions of masks will be distributed to local authorities and at public transport hubs. Additionally, the prime minister announced that EUR 16 billion (USD 17.6 billion) will be approved by his government in order to help regional authorities address the economic impact of the pandemic.

The current state of alarm is in effect until Saturday, May 9. Under the lockdown restrictions, schools, bars, restaurants, and most shops remain closed. All social gatherings continue to be prohibited, and police officers have been deployed to enforce the orders. Residents are being ordered to restrict all movement except for going to work for essential employees, hospitals or health centers, financial institutions, and shopping for groceries, pharmaceuticals, and other primary necessities. Nonessential employees have been instructed to stay home as a precautionary measure. The Spanish government further announced plans to gradually relax some confinement measures within the next six to eight weeks.

Prime Minister Sanchez previously announced that from Saturday, May 2, Spaniards will be allowed to exercise alone and people living in the same residence are permitted to go for short walks together. Further easing of restrictions will occur throughout May and June as long as death rates from the virus continue to fall.

As of May 2, there are 216,582 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 25,100 associated fatalities in the country. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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