5th August 2020
Pedro Sánchez during his visit to the Hersill factory on 3 April 2020 (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)
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Face masks compulsory in closed spaces and outside if not at 2-metre distance

It has become compulsory from today (Thursday 21 May) to wear face masks in Spain in closed spaces (including shops and stores), as well as on the street and in public places, if a 2-metre ‘social distance’ cannot be maintained.

The new rule was ordered by the Spanish Health Ministry to further combat the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), and has been published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)The ruling came into effect on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain figures (22 May)

There are exceptions to the rule. It is not compulsory for children under the age of six to wear face masks, nor for people with respiratory difficulties that may be aggravated by the use of a mask.

The ruling also states that it is not compulsory for ‘people in whom the use of a mask is not recommended for reasons of justified health, or that due to their disability or dependency [could] present behavioural changes that make their use unfeasible’.

The BOE ruling further states that wearing of masks is not compulsory during ‘activities in which, by their very nature, it results that the use of the mask is incompatible’ – and also for reasons of force majeure.

ALSO READ: Spanish Congress votes to extend ‘state of alarm’ until 7 June

Face masks have been compulsory on all public transport in Spain since Monday 4 May, when the country officially started its four-phase de-escalation of lockdown restrictions, expected to last up to eight weeks, until the end of June. It was also already compulsory for passengers to wear face masks if travelling in a car driven by someone they don’t live with.

The decision to make face masks obligatory was made after a video conference meeting on Monday afternoon between Spain’s central government and the leaders of the regional governments, together with the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (SNS).

Pedro Sánchez during his visit to the Hersill factory on 3 April 2020 (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)
Pedro Sánchez during his visit to the Hersill factory on 3 April 2020 (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)

At the outset of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Spanish authorities deemed that face masks were not necessary for people who had no symptoms of Coronavirus – but they later reversed that decision and recommended that they should be used. They then also made them compulsory on public transport from 4 May.

During the start of the four-phase de-escalation of lockdown restrictions, the authorities have been stating that the use of face masks is ‘recommended’ wherever possible – and whenever doing any of the activities that have been permitted, especially amongst people who do not live together.

Our previous reports on Coronavirus in Spain:

ALSO READ: Lifting of lockdown in Spain – full details of all phases & regions

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain figures (22 May)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain figures (21 May)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 May)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain figures (18 May)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (17 May)

ALSO READ: ‘Valencia in English’ weekly round-up (17 May)

ALSO READ: Spain extends international ban on entry into country until 15 June

ALSO READ: Ryanair plans to restore 40% of flights from 1 July

ALSO READ: La Liga players back in training, with games to possibly restart on 20 June

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