Today, Spain’s new mask law comes into effect, meaning you can remove your mask outdoors as long as distancing of 1.5 metres can be guaranteed.
The new law returns us to a situation similar to the one we had last summer, when masks were only required indoors, in public places or places that are open to the public.
As has always been the case, children under six are not required to wear a mask at any time. Anyone above that age will see the law carry on pretty much as before, with the exception that they can take their masks off in non-crowded open-air places.
Masks will be required on planes, ships, buses and railways, as well as station platforms. They will also be required in taxis and in all private cars when the occupants do not live in the same house.
At open-air events where people are standing, or where seats are less than 1.5 metres apart, masks will be compulsory. Only distanced, seated events appear to escape a requirement for mask use.
Masks will also remain compulsory in all indoor workplaces, except certain institutions where the level of vaccination is above 80%. Hospital and care home visitors, however, will have to wear masks at all times.
There will be no fines for not carrying a mask, as was suggested earlier this week, but fines of up to €100 can be imposed for not wearing a mask in a crowded situation. In practice, it will be wise to keep a mask at hand at all times, as you never know when you may be forced into close contact with other people.
There will, of course, be nothing preventing those who wish to continue wearing a mask from doing so. Mask use is believed to be one of the factors for why there were virtually no cases of flu last winter, and many people are likely to continue to trust in this protection, especially as lower immunity means that the next flu season is likely to be more serious than previous ones.
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