Wearing face masks in public spaces where two-metre distancing cannot be guaranteed will be obligatory for everyone over the age of six from tomorrow, when a new law by the Spanish government comes into effect.

The BOE (official state bulletin) says that “Mask use will be obligatory in public streets, in open air spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public, provided that it is not possible to maintain an interpersonal safety distance of at least two metres”. The bulletin will pass into law tomorrow.

Exemptions will apply to those under the age of six; those with respiratory problems that could be aggravated by mask-wearing; those with other medical or behavioural conditions that make mask use impossible, and those carrying out activities with which mask use is incompatible, such as eating or drinking.

Sporting activities are not mentioned in the BOE. However, the Health Minister, Salvador Illa, commented that the rules for sport already require distancing of two metres to be observed, so that if this is complied with correctly, mask use will not be necessary.

Fernando Simón of the government’s emergency committee said the judgement of when and where to wear masks should be up to citizens. “The first step is to always leave the house with a mask,” he said, “After that, you must assess each situation.”

The bulletin says any type of mask that covers the nose and mouth can be used, although they should “preferably” be of the “hygienic and surgical” kind.

No information about potential fines is given in the decree.

Sánchez abandons month-long extension

Pedro Sánchez has agreed to reduce the term of the next extension to the State of Alarm to 15 days, in order to win the support of the Ciudadanos party.  Sánchez had originally intended to request an extension of a month, but was unable to guarantee sufficient support for the measure in parliament.

Ciudadanos’ decision means Sánchez can count on 165 votes, but  he will need to secure another 11 by this evening to pass the motion in congress. If he succeeds in doing so,  the State of Alarm will be extended to 7th June.