24th February 2024
Pedro Sánchez during his visit to the Hersill factory on 3 April 2020 (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)
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Spain reduces tax on face masks and lowers maximum price for surgical masks

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (14 Dec)

Also read: Details of curfews & restrictions for all regions of Spain during ‘State of Alarm’

Spain is to reduce the VAT (IVA in Spanish) on face masks from 21% to 4%, and which should be in force from next Wednesday. It is also lowering the maximum price for surgical masks to 0.72 euros, down from 0.96 euros, which had been established in April. The maximum price includes tax.

The Spanish government spokeswoman María Jesús Montero announced the tax reduction in Congress on Wednesday. The maximum price for surgical masks was announced on Thursday.

Montero said that with the tax reduction, authorities would remain ‘vigilant’ to ensure that it meant cheaper prices for the public, and not more revenue for companies.

Montero said that the reduction had not been done earlier because ‘EU regulations forbid reduced taxes for this product’. However, the EU Commission informed by letter on Tuesday that ‘a formal infringement procedure will not be launched’ if Spain did not comply with the regulation.

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

By reducing the maximum price for surgical masks to 0.72 euros (including tax), the government aims ‘to guarantee free competition below the maximum price set, both in large stores, as well as in pharmacies and online sales’.

Wearing face masks in Spain was first made compulsory on 21 May for everyone aged over six in closed spaces (including shops and stores), as well as on the street and in public places, if a 2-metre ‘social distance’ could not be maintained. It had already been made compulsory to wear face masks on all public transport in Spain since Monday 4 May.

Since the first ‘state of alarm’ ended on 21 June, the rule of wearing face masks has remained in place – with a fine of up to 100 euros for non-compliance — although the security distance has been reduced to 1.5 metres.

ALSO READ (9/6/20): Face masks to remain compulsory until vaccine found, under ‘new normality’

ALSO READ (24/5/20): Face masks compulsory in closed spaces and outside

Also read: Spain to require visitors from high-risk countries to present negative PCR tests

Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

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