The Spanish government approved the new law on Tuesday, which will see the end of wearing masks indoors.
The plans which were initially announced on April 6, were finally approved on Tuesday, April 19, by the Council of Ministers meaning that after almost two years, Spanish citizens will be able to decide when to wear a face mask.
However, there will still be a few exceptions with the wearing of a mask remaining mandatory under certain circumstances.
The new royal decree which was presented to the government by the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias will come into force on Wednesday, April 20, which is when it will be published in the Official State Gazette (BOE).
Where will masks still be mandatory?
At a press conference following a cabinet meeting, Darias said that “Face masks are no longer mandatory, except for certain circumstances”.
From Wednesday, April 20, masks will no longer need to be worn in cafes, bars, restaurants, shops, schools, cinemas, nightclubs, gyms, shopping centres and sports stadiums.
However, as stressed by the Health Minister, there will be some exceptions where masks will remain mandatory. These are:-
Visitors and staff in care homes will also be required to continue to wear masks, although residents of such homes will not need to.
The requirement will also be maintained on all forms of public transportation including trains, planes, buses and cable transport. Also in the case of closed areas of ships and boats where it is not possible to maintain a safe distance of 1.5 metres.
What are the recommendations?
Carolina Darias explained that although the wearing of masks in most cases will no longer be mandatory, it is still recommended that the public act responsibly and with caution where the situation dictates it.
If a safe distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained, then the ministry recommends that people wear masks. Those over the age of 60, pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised should also be especially cautious when indoors.
The minister emphasised that for everyone else, “common sense” and “caution” should be exercised, recommending the wearing of masks when in poorly-ventilated or crowded indoor spaces.
In general, the wearing of masks will not be mandatory in the work environment. However, some employers will have the right to enforce the policy along with other preventative measures if they deem it necessary.
Health Minister Darias said, “We’re recovering some normality and are able to show our faces and smiles again,” stressing that masks “should continue to be among us as an element of protection, especially for vulnerable people”.