HUNDREDS of people have been fined for not wearing a mask over the past few days, it has been revealed.

Policia Local in Malaga city alone have handed out 314 sanctions since the new ruling came in across Andalucia on Wednesday.

The regional decree states that anyone aged six or above must don the personal protective gear at all times in outdoor and indoor spaces, regardless of whether or not social distancing is possible.

The figure of 314 is close to the number of fines handed out for not wearing masks in the whole of June, which stood at 541.

It means police are being much tougher with the new rule.

Security councillor Avelino Barrionuevo told Diario Sur that the new measure is much clearer than before and that there are ‘no opportunities to interpret’ it differently.

Many fines have been handed out at the beaches, with 20 agents being added to the La Malagueta area this weekend to crackdown on non-compliance.

It comes after the mask ruling has been accused of turning away tourists.

One hairdresser on the coast told the Olive Press that at least three of his British clients rang up to cancel their appointments after masks became mandatory.

“After they saw that people had to wear masks they cancelled their holiday,” the expat, who asked to remain anonymous, told this paper.

“I think people have seen the ruling and are becoming a bit worried or scared to fly out.

“They don’t necessarily realise that it is mostly a preventative measure to stop the virus coming back.”

Another hotelier, who also asked not to be named, said a British family had also cancelled their trip as a direct result of the mask ruling.

It comes after the Costa del Sol hotel industry reported it has not seen the surge in bookings it had hoped following the lifting of the nationwide lockdown.

They blamed a lack of British and foreign tourists for occupancy rates in July remaining below 40%, with UK favourites like Torremolinos forecasting an average 23% occupancy rate.

Things are expected to pick up in August with hotels on the Costa del Sol expecting an average occupancy rate of around 40%.

Has the mask ruling affected your business, good or bad? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es

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