Spain makes masks compulsory in public spaces; attracts criticism

WION Web Team
Madrid, Spain Published: Apr 01, 2021, 12:32 PM(IST)

A sign to remind people to wear masks in the Covid era Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Till now, masks were mandatory in all public and outdoor spaces but only when it was not possible to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters or more between two people

Considering the rising cases of coronavirus in the country and region, the government of Spain has made wearing masks compulsory in public space, regardless of the distance between people.

As per an announcement published by the government in the Official State Gazette (BOE) "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".

Till now, masks were mandatory in all public and outdoor spaces but only when it was not possible to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters or more between two people. 

Also read | 'Stay home': Experts warn COVID surge to be worse than 2020

However, the rule implicates that masks are to be worn "always" if a person is outdoor. 

Regional governments will also not be provided with the freedom to play with the rules as they deem fit and will have to implement the strict law imposed by the central government. Earlier, regional governments had the freedom to bring changes to these rules.

While many regional governments have agreed to the new rule, the government of the Balearic Islands has allowed locals to roam mask-free at beaches and in swimming pools.

"There is a sentence in the national law that mentions ‘in conformity with the health authorities.’ Our legal services feel that our legislation is not superseded by the national one, and our own measures will remain in force," said health chief Patricia Gómez.

Juan Marín, the deputy premier of Andalusia has also expressed disagreement with the new law saying he does not understand "this type of decisions that get made without consulting with the regions".

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