Spain Relaxes Face Mask Regulations After Outcry

The Spanish government have clarified the new regulations concerning the wearing of face masks that had been announced last month.

The regulations set strict requirements for the wearing of masks at all times in outside public places regardless of the previous 1.5 metre social distancing rule being met.

The regulations also applied to the wearing of masks whilst on the beach or at outdoor swimming pools.

The decision caused an outcry from many of Spain’s 17 autonomous regional governments as well as the tourist sector who feared that it would impact holiday bookings.

The Catalonian regional government said that they would not apply the new regulations.

Following the  Inter-Territorial Council of the National Health System meeting on Wednesday 7th April, the government published a new agreement on the mandatory use of face masks, allowing for some exemptions whilst on the beach or at swimming pools.

The updated list of activities which have now been exempted from face mask now include bathing in the sea, lakes, reservoirs, rivers or in other bathing areas such as outdoor and indoor swimming pools.

However the regulations now include moments of rest’ before or after bathing which would mean that face masks need not be worn if sunbathing or staying in the same place.

Masks are still obligatory in indoor swimming pools or whilst abord vessels of any kind.

The wearing of masks is still required inside restaurants and bars  apart from when eating or drinking.

The coronavirus incident rate has been slowly climbing in recent weeks with Madrid still the worst affected region with over 270 cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared to a national average rate of 150 per 100,000 of population.

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