Spanish government turnaround on mandatory masks issue

by Lorraine Williamson
government turnaround

MADRID – Madrid has proposed to the Autonomous Communities that people on the beach, by the pool and in nature do not require to wear a face mask. This is a government turnaround from the rules stated last week.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health will propose the change at the Interterritorial Council. A mask, on the other hand, must be worn during walks along the beach, along the coast and when people enter or leave the beach. 

Government turnaround

This turn around of the government is reported by the newspaper El Mundo, which was given access to the documents.  Moreover, it follows only a week after a ruling made the wearing of the mouth masks mandatory always . This meant everywhere in the open air, including areas where 1.5 metres distance between people could clearly be maintained. 

Masks not mandatory on the beach and at the swimming pool

After fierce opposition from tourist regions such as Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and Andalucia, the governement backed down. The new plan is that you can be without a mask as long as there is at least 1.5 metres interpersonal distance with other (groups of) people with whom you do not live together or are regularly together . Previously, only individual sports and children playing in outdoor areas were excluded from the mask obligation. However, individual walks in nature can also now be made without a mask. El Mundo adds that mouth masks are also not necessary in the water. Whether it is the swimming pool, a river or the sea. 

When the final outcome of the Inter-Territorial Council is known later on Wednesday, the new rules will be published in the Official Gazette BOE.  


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