Spain Drops Masks Mandates, As Does Next Month’s ISE Trade Show There

April 20, 2022 by Dave Haynes

If you have plans to attend the big Integrated Systems Europe pro AV and digital signage trade show next month in Barcelona, you will likely be interested in news that Spain’s two-year-long face mask mandate has just been dropped.

The Spanish government has approved the end of the mandatory use of face masks in most indoor spaces. As of today, proper face coverings will no longer need to be worn in enclosed spaces, except on public transportation and in taxis, healthcare centers, senior living homes (for visitors and workers) and pharmacies.

Masks will also no longer be mandatory in workplaces, though companies can make their own decisions on mask policies for their working environments.

News of this was tweeted by ISE’s organizers, and there is no longer a health safety requirement to wear a mask in the event venue or use social distancing.

There is also, now, no formal requirement to prove vaccination status or recovery from COVID.

The current guidelines, says ISE on its website, are as follows.

Spanish authorities require everyone entering the country to be either recently tested, recovered from Covid, or fully vaccinated. This protocol is controlled at the Spanish border.

ISE expects its exhibitors and attendees to also be tested, recovered, or fully vaccinated. In common with practice at other Spanish and European venues we will not ask for documented proof.

Nothing I know or write will add anything to the discussion about the health safety merits of this. The case rate in Catalonia is way down from the Omicron spike in January, but the pandemic is not over. While I used to chat here and there with industry people who got COVID and got through it, these days I’d day three of every four conversations I have are with people who picked it up, despite their own health safety efforts.

I’ve decided against going to ISE, but that decision is a little about health safety and a lot about not needing to see the same stuff twice in a month. InfoComm is only a few weeks after ISE, so I’m going to that show instead. I’m triple-jabbed but I will be masking up, regardless of the rules. I have a five-month-old grandson far too young for a vaccine, and I’m not bringing that home to him if I can help it!

When I have asked people who’ve been to Vegas lately what mask usage is like, they’ve generally said it is next to zero.

In other ISE news, the trade show organizers have an arrangement with city transport authorities for free rail and bus travel for event registrants.

If you poke around the ISE site you will also find some show-specific discounts for airfares and long-distance rail.

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