MADRID - Spain, one of the last countries in Europe to still require people to wear masks on public transport to prevent the spread of COVID-19, will likely lift the obligation on Feb. 7, Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Thursday.

She said the epidemiological situation in the country was stable and health emergency services had proposed lifting the restriction. Masks will remain mandatory in health facilities.

"I'll bring the proposal to scrap the obligation to wear masks in public transportation to the cabinet meeting to be held on Feb. 7," she told reporters.

Three years after the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Europe, masks are only mandatory on all, or some types of public transport, in Spain, Germany, Austria and Greece.

Mask wearing on public transport became obligatory in May 2020.

Germany is due to lift the rule, which applies to long-distance trains and buses, on Feb. 2. The obligation in Greece is set to expire on Jan. 30.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro, additional reporting by Bhanvi Satija, editing by Andrei Khalip and Sharon Singleton)