Once the impact of the opening of borders with China on the incidence of the coronavirus in Spain has been analysed, the government has announced that masks will be removed “immediately” from public transport. The government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, said that “different steps have been taken” to “recover normality”.

The reactions of Palma’s EMT users have not been long in coming. “It seems to me the right thing to do at this stage of the pandemic. Most people no longer leave the house wearing a mask and this means they can’t use public transport. With all that has been invested in masks, they should be free where they are necessary, such as in hospitals”, said a user of lines 20 and 4. Alejandro, who usually takes line 35, considers that “it was not logical that in places where many people gather, such as bars and discotheques, it was not obligatory and on public transport it was”.

Another young man, a sporadic user of line 3, applauds the measure and calls for common sense: “I think it’s the right thing to do, as in many European cities they have long since been removed. I think that even so, people have to be aware that if they are unwell and use public transport, they still have to carry it to protect others. It is already an individual responsibility for the common good. I think these years of the pandemic have taught us a lot.

For her part, María, who usually takes the bus to Son Gotleu, is undecided: “When they stopped being compulsory in supermarkets, schools, etc. I didn’t see the logic of making it compulsory on the bus. But now I’m honestly a bit afraid because on the bus people are very close to you, they are almost always very full and if they remove the masks, it won’t be compulsory to open the windows. Imagine… with the heating and people sneezing, coughing… Now I am more aware of all the viruses. I’m going to keep wearing it because it’s a very closed place with a lot of people very close by”.

Alberto, a resident of Son Espanyolet, believes that it should have been removed a long time ago because “it only affects poor people and nowhere else is there a demand for it. I understand that it should be kept in hospitals and health centres”, he adds. In the neighbouring district of Son Dameto, Victoria also applauds the measure: “In places like buses and planes, the option of wearing a mask should be voluntary because it is something that is not really being enforced. Many people wear the mask under their nose, even under their mouth. In public places, masks should be provided free of charge,” he stresses.