Spain Wearing Masks On Beach?
- Víctormanuel Paz
Spain has dropped its rules around wearing face masks when sunbathing and swimming after a backlash. A law was introduced last week that required all tourists and locals to wear a face mask at all times in outdoor public spaces, including at the beach. The law set out was intended to apply to all public spaces, meaning that face masks would be required when sunbathing on the beach or swimming in the sea.
- The Spanish health authorities have now clarified the rules;
- Following talks, a statement explaining that people will be permitted to remove their face masks on the beach when sunbathing or swimming;
- It said that masks can be removed “when a person remains in a specific place and respects a minimum distance of 1;
5 metres from non-household members”. Masks can also be removed while swimming in the sea, swimming pools, rivers, reservoirs and lakes, as long as social distancing rules can be followed. However, anyone walking along the beach will need to wear a mask. Masks will also need to be worn when inside or outside at bars and restaurants, except “for the moments necessary for eating or drinking”.
Do you have to wear a mask on holiday?
Confusion over wearing of face masks on Spanish beaches
Spain has done a U-turn after initially demanding tourists wore masks on the beach (Picture: Jonathan Perugia/In Pictures via Getty Images) British tourists visiting Spain this summer will no longer be required to wear a face mask while sunbathing or swimming. Health chiefs have now abandoned strict plans demanding people wear face coverings while they are on the beach, swimming in an outdoor or covered pool, or in the sea. But holidaymakers must wear a mask when they are walking to the beach or using communal facilities.
They are also required in outdoor restaurants, cafes or bars – except when customers are eating or drinking. Authorities released a statement confirming face coverings will not be mandatory while sunbathing or swimming but urged people to be ‘careful’, the Telegraph reports.
Masks can be removed on the beach when a person ‘remains in a specific place’ and ‘respects a minimum distance of 1. 5 metres from non-household members’. The ‘draconian’ rules, first announced on March 30, were revised amid widespread criticism as tourism bosses feared people would travel elsewhere this summer. ‘ Sunbathers will no longer be required to wear a mask on the beach in Spain (Picture: Desiree Martin / AFP via Getty Images) Spain revised the rules after making face masks mandatory on the beach at the end of March (Picture: Josep LAGO / AFP via Getty Images) Holidaymakers also apparently complained sunbathing with a mask would leave them with ‘two-tone faces’. The decision has sparked some fears of a potential spike in coronavirus cases. But many also welcomed the move on social media. One person wrote: ‘Who the hell is going to lie on a beach with a mask on?’ Others described the initial rule as ‘bonkers’, ‘totally ridiculous’ and ‘absolutely crazy’.
José Luis Zoreda, vice-president of Exceltur, an organisation that represents Spain’s tourism industry, told newspaper El País at the time: ‘We’re going through hell with thousands of jobs and businesses threatened and now they want to turn the beaches into open-air field hospitals.
Another said: ‘I can’t believe it was even imposed in the first place’. Masks will still be required in restaurants and cafes – except when patrons are eating or drinking (Picture: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images) It comes as dozens defied Covid-19 rules to attend an impromptu beach party in Barcelona last week, police said. Meetings of more than six people are banned in the region of Catalonia, northern Spain, where rulebreakers could face fines in excess of £500. Police in parts of the Balearic Islands, including Mallorca, resorted to using drones to monitor sunbathers during the Easter break.