Spain to require public to wear face masks outdoors at all times

Spain to require public to wear face masks outdoors at all times
People wearing face masks walk along La Misericordia Beach in Malaga on July 22, 2020. - The world's second-most popular destination after France, Spain was badly hit by the coronavirus that has claimed more than 28,400 lives and dealt a major blow to its tourism industry, which accounts for 12 percent of GDP. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)
The Spanish government announced a new law on Tuesday that will require people to wear face masks outdoors at all times including on beaches.

The new law would apply to outdoor areas across the whole of Spain and include places like swimming pools and beaches.

It would also apply even to areas that are not busy and where social distancing is not a problem.

“People from the age of six and older have the obligation to wear masks on public streets, in outdoor spaces and in any closed space that has a public use or is open to the public,” read the new law published in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

Previously face masks were only obligatory in public and outdoor spaces when it was not possible to keep a distance of 1.5 meters or more between people.

That was the rule spelled out in a decree last June and could be adapted by regional authorities, some of which scrapped the law for places like beaches.

However under the new law the same rules will apply across the country and cannot be altered by regional governments.

Judging by the reaction on social media however the law might not be too popular especially among those who work in the tourism industry who fear it will deal another blow to their chances of recovery.

Under the law the masks can only be removed for individual exercise outdoors and by those with specific health conditions.

There is no specific mention yet as to what is allowed in terms of maskwearing while not eating and drinking at a bar or restaurant terrace or indoors, but if there is a general tightening of restrictions, wearing a face mask while food and drink isn’t being consumed may be expected.

The law comes as the government gets restless by rising Covid-19 rates in the country. 

The rate, which is measured over the preceding 14 days, rose to 149 cases per 100,000 people from 138 cases on Friday, Reuters reported.

It had been inching higher since dropping below 130 cases per 100,000 people in mid-March but remains well below the peak of nearly 900 cases recorded in late January.


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