THE mandatory use of masks in Andalucia will come into force at midnight on Wednesday and there will be fines for those who fail to comply. 

The obligatory wearing of the protective gear was confirmed by regional president Juanma Moreno this morning via Twitter. 

The Partido Popular leader said: “The Committee of Experts of Andalucia endorses the mandatory use of masks to protect the health of Andalucians. 

“I know that it can be uncomfortable to always wear it, in open and closed spaces, but I am asking you to make an effort. 

“Today’s prevention is a guarantee for the future and it avoids contagion.”

Meanwhile, the regional health minister told Cadena Ser this morning that fines will be handed out to those who do not comply with the new rules. 

Jesus Aguirre also added that the point of the masks, as well as preventing the spread of the virus, is to remind the population that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and to prevent a complete ‘relaxation of social customs.’ 

Much like other regions, Aguirre said Andalucia has seen outbreaks among the young and as a result of family gatherings which have failed to keep to social distancing norms. 

It comes as 40% of fresh outbreaks across Spain have been tied to family reunions. 

The health minister went on to explain that if two people are wearing masks, and even if they are closer than 1.5 metres apart, the risk of contagion can drop to 5% or even 1%. 

He has already advised local government and police forces to ‘enforce sanctions’ for those who fail to don masks.

In relation to the 19 fresh outbreaks affecting the southernmost region, Aguirre said 12 are under control while seven are under investigation. 

There has also been no increase in hospital or ICU patients. 

The Junta is, however, considering limiting wakes once again following an outbreak linked to a funeral in Granada.

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