Obligatory Face Masks in Spain - The Rules Explained
The Spanish government has made the wearing of face masks compulsory in public places. This is a public health measure designed to help to limit transmission of the virus as life in Spain slowly returns to normal. Here’s an explanation of the details and exceptions to the new rules.
Who has to wear a mask?
Everyone from 6 years old and above, and they are recommended for children of 3-5 years too.
Who does not have to wear a mask?
People who have a medical condition or disability that is not compatible with wearing a mask.
In what circumstances do people have to wear masks?
It’s recommended to wear a mask any time you leave home. It’s mandatory to wear one in enclosed spaces, like shops or libraries, that are open to the public. Masks must also be worn in the open air when it is not possible to always maintain a distance of two metres, for example on the street.
In what circumstances is it allowed not to wear a mask?
It’s OK not to wear a mask when undertaking activities which, by their nature, are not compatible with wearing a mask. This leaves some room for interpretation, but seems to cover activities such as eating and drinking, or vigorous exercise like running, as long as two metres of distance can be maintained.
What type of mask should be worn?
Any type may be worn, but the government recommends hygienic or surgical masks. This government guide gives a good explanation of the types of mask and their purposes.
Hygienic and surgical masks provide protection for those around the wearer by limiting the spread of respiratory droplets, emitted when breathing and talking, which carry the virus. They also provide some protection for the wearer.
Reusable fabric masks also are also a more environmentally-friendly option, because disposable masks cause a lot of plastic waste.
What happens if I don’t wear a mask?
There is a risk of a fine of between €100-€600, just as there is for breaking other restrictions under the State of Emergency.