Those venturing outside from tomorrow will have to wear a mask, except for children under six and people with respiratory problems.
The Government does ‘recommend,’ however, that 3-to-5-year olds do wear one where it is not possible to keep the recommended safety distance.
Therefore, if you are in open-air spaces where you cannot maintain the safety distance or enter enclosed public spaces, then you must wear a mask.
However, the instructions published in the Official National Gazette (BOE: SND/422/2020) do not establish any fining procedure if you don’t wear one – but don’t count on that; a policeman is always right, even when he isn’t, after all.
The said instructions are somewhat vague because they also say that you don’t have to wear one if, “carrying out an activity, by its very nature, that is incompatible with the use of a mask or for reasons of force majeure.” This leaves it open for runners and cyclists to opt out, it can be interpretted.
What the new law is firm on is that scarfs, neckchiefs, etc are not an acceptable substitute for a surgical mask.
The Ministry for Health has been against the mass use of masks because “it presents a false sense of security,” yet they now consider wearing one is essential as it stops the spread of the virus through retaining infected drops in a persons breath. However, the Government does not see this change of heart as a U-turn, but merely a logical decision given the evolution of this health crisis.
14:30 Update: there will be fines of up to 600 euros for those that repeatedly get caught without a mask. Also, those that have respiratory problems will have to carry a document that verifies this (doctor’s note or other medical document. If you’re asmatic then showing your inhaler should be proof enough)