Where will masks still have to be worn from June 26th?
As of this coming Saturday, June 26th, masks will no longer be mandatory in outdoor public spaces, as announced by the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, although there will be some conditions and some exceptions. This reform is to be passed by the Council of Ministers on Thursday (June 24th), as it requires a change to what is known as the ‘Law of the new normality’, which is Law 2/2021 of urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures to face to the health crisis caused by Covid.
This national law is the one that has established, since March last year, that masks must be worn at all times in any situation in a public space, even if there is a safety distance between people.
This regulation was also the one that the Inter-territorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) agreed to "make more flexible" to stop the necessity of masks on beaches, by swimming pools, and other places of relaxation in an aquatic environment, when sunbathing, swimming, and not moving around.
Conditions and exceptions of the new regulation:
Broadly speaking, the proposal that the experts from the Ministry of Health, headed by Carolina Darias, want to make to all the regional health departments, is that masks in outdoor public spaces are only mandatory when:
- Any situation where the safety distance cannot be maintained.
It remains to be established if this is to be 1.5 metres, 2 metres, or more, for people who do not live together or who do not belong to the same ‘social bubble’.
The text, which legal services and Public Health experts are working together on, will probably introduce other exceptions in which, despite being outdoors and at a distance, a mask is still mandatory, but at this stage, they haven’t revealed what they are.
For example, they could implement a clause that it only applies at certain alert levels when the risk of contagion is classed as low, so that maybe only territories in Level 1 are exempt, as they have done with nightlife and other regulations. If that were the case, masks would still be mandatory in Tenerife and Lanzarote at the moment.
You will more than likely still need to wear one when walking around the terrace of a bar or restaurant, as you are on the premises of a business and distancing will not be guaranteed when you pass between tables.
This will probably also apply when you enter a shopping centre even though it may be open-air before you go into the shops, as again, you are on commercial property and spacing can’t be guaranteed.
However, all will be revealed on Thursday, and whatever the exceptions are, it is a huge step in the right direction for a return to normality.