SPAIN’S government has brought in a decree law that outlines the new rules for face mask wearing in public spaces that comes into force from Saturday June 26.
Everyone in Spain has been required to wear a face mask in public spaces including while outdoors since May last year, with certain exceptions made for exercise and those with medical conditions.
However, that is set to change from Saturday when people across Spain will now be able to walk down the street and sit in a park without the need for a face covering.
But there are still rules that need to be followed and penalties can be issued to those caught breaching them and these are outlined in the new decree published on Thursday June 24 in the Official State Gazette (BOE).
This means the new normal will involve people in Spain yo-yoing between wearing and removing masks throughout the day depending on how crowded the places are that they pass through.
So here’s what you need to know:
Always carry a mask
Under the new face mask rules, it is mandatory to carry a face mask at all times so that it can be put on in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. The mask doesn’t have to be visible but should be on your person, in your pocket, a bag or carried on your sleeve.
Maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres
Although you will no longer be required to wear a mask in an outdoor situation, that only applies if you can keep at least 1.5 metres space between yourself and others. Which means if you are walking down a crowded street or sitting in a close group of friends, masks must be worn.
Masks must be worn at large public events held outdoors, such as a concert or sports match if a safe distance between people cannot be maintained.
However, if an outdoor event is seated with distancing between seats, face masks will not be mandatory.
They will still be required if the event is indoors, regardless of the space between seats.
Masks will still be mandatory in public enclosed spaces, such as supermarkets, museums, cinemas, theatres, libraries etc as well as public offices.
Bars and restaurants
The rules on wearing face masks in the interior of bars and restaurants remain unchanged. That is they must be worn unless you are eating and drinking when they can be removed momentarily.
Masks must be worn on all public transport including planes, buses and train, regardless of how much space there is between passengers.
However, face masks will no longer be required for passengers on ferries while they are in their cabin or when they are on deck and can maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres.
Masks will no longer be mandatory in residential homes and institutions where 80% of the population is vaccinated, but they will continue to be mandatory for the workers of these centres and for visitors.
On the beach
Wearing a mask on the beach is not compulsory as long as you are alone, or with others from your household and can maintain a distance of 1.5 metres, otherwise you are required to wear one.
Exceptions are made for those beach activities that make wearing a mask difficult, such as swimming in the sea, exercising on the sand or eating and drinking.
€100 fines can be issued
Police will be able to issue fines to those caught breaching the new rules and not wearing a mask when they should be. So even if you are outside but cannot keep a safe distance of 1.5 metres then you could face a penalty.