23 Dec, 2021 @ 08:00
1 min read

LATEST: What you need to know about Spain making face masks compulsory again even outdoors

Christmas Lighting In Barcelona, Spain 25 Nov 2021
People wearing face masks walking under the Christmas lights installed on the El Corte Inglés building near the Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona. Christmas lights and decors installed at the squares and streets in Barcelona lit up the whole city with a holiday spirit. This will be accompanied by traditional Christmas activities in Barcelona. (Photo by Paco Freire / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) *** Local Caption *** 36293651 Cordon Press

MASKS will have to be worn outdoors at all times in Spain as COVID-19 infections rise to new record levels.

Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, told the country’s 17 regional presidents in a Wednesday afternoon video conference that the measure would be implemented via a decree to be passed at a specially-convened cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The measure comes into force on Thursday.

Sanchez backed the mask demands from several regional presidents including those from Andalucia and the Valencian Community.

The rule will apply regardless of whether a 1.5 metre safety distance can be kept and exemptions will apply to areas like sport. sport.

However, Spain has brought back the rule that face masks must be worn in public spaces even when outside from Thursday.

“We are going to include some exceptions, when, for example, one is practicing sports; when we are in natural spaces, such as the mountains or the beach; and obviously, when we are alone, with our family unit or with someone who is not from our family unit, but with a distance of 1.5 meters,” Sanchez explained on Wednesday after the measure was agreed in a meeting with regional health authorities.

Sanchez ruled out other restrictions being passed by decree like hospitality hours and capacity as well as reintroducing curfews via a new State of Alarm.

Wednesday’s conference call discussed measures to curb rising coronavirus infections fuelled by the Omicron variant notched up a new daily record of 48,823 cases on Tuesday.

Sanchez reiterated that vaccination was the best way of getting out of the current problem and promised to ramp up booster vaccination teams, as well as virus tracking from Armed Forces members.

Some 80% of the population aged between 60 and 69 years old will have to be vaccinated with a booster dose before the end of the year in a new target set by the Prime Minister.

And 80% of those between 50 and 59 year will have got the booster by January 24, 2022.

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Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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