The Wheres & Whens of Masks

AND Obligatory MasksThe new obligatory use of surgical masks must be observed on beaches and public swimming pools. Failure to do so will result in a 100-euro fine. Of course, it doesn’t end there but affects all public spaces, both interiors and exteriors.

The use of masks on beaches and public swimming pools requires a little more explanation: obviously, if you go into the water, you don’t wear one. Furthermore, if you remain on your towel and don’t move around the beach, you don’t need to wear it, but if you can’t guarantee your safety distance from other beach users or decide to walk along the seashore, then you do.

Note: if you’re sharing your beach umbrella with people other than those you live with; i.e., friends or relatives, then you do have to wear a mask.

The Regional Government Spokesperson, Elías Bendodo, explained how Andalusians and visitors will have to get used to wearing them from 00.01h Wednesday morning (today) “at all times and in all places.” Furthermore, funeral attendance will be reduced from a maximum of 60 persons to only 25 if it is held outside, and only ten persons (it was 30) in interiors.

However this obligatory use includes seven exceptions, which are as follows:

1. Age: mask will be obligatory for people from six years of age – therefore, young children will not have to wear them.

2. People travelling in a vehicle if they live under the same roof will not have to wear masks inside the vehicle. Masks on flights, ferries, buses and trains remain obligatory at all times, however.

3. People with respiratory problems, that would be aggravated by mask use, do not have to wear them. However, you need written justification from a doctor. People with extensive physical limitations who cannot place a mask on themselves are also exempt.

4. Outdoor, unaccompanied sports are exempt from using one. If you decide to go accompanied by other people practicing the same sports, then you all will have to.

5. In cases of force majeure or in a situation of necessity, or when the very nature of the activity makes it incompatible with mask usage, you don’t have to wear one.

6. Bathing and sunbathing (as explained above).

7. Eating and drinking: You are excused from wearing a mask “momentarily” whilst physically eating or drinking. This does not mean that all the while you are sat at a table you need not wear one. Have some respect for the waiters when they approach your table by pulling your mask back up.

Editorial comment: wearing a mask means wearing one both over your mouth and nose; it does not mean wearing one on your wrist or elbow.

It is common courtesy to wear your mask when addressing a waiter or waitress, bringing food to your table. It costs nothing to pull the mask into place for that short duration.

We are back in this situation because too many people can’t be bothered to wear a mask or keep their distance, especially youths. If people had been more sensible when the Lock  Down ended, then we wouldn’t be back to extensive mask use and facing, quite probably, another obligatory confinement.

After all, this is not about ones health, but about affecting everybody else’s.

(News: Andalucia)

  19 comments for “The Wheres & Whens of Masks

  1. Robert Briggs
    July 18, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Martin. After reading all of the above posts I would like to make a comment. Some of the comments mention youths not wearing masks, some mention the fact that the government is making money from the fines issued others mention the fact that the police are heavy handed the answer to all of the above is YES this is happening and the reason for this is a lot of the public in general either don’t understand or they are just stupid if everyone had done what they should have we wouldn’t be in the predicament we are in now.

  2. julie
    July 16, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Martin said,

    “You say, Julie, “Covid makes money for the Spanish Government through fines.” Do you honestly think that this is about getting a bit of extra cash through fines?

    Do you have any idea the millions upon millions that it is costing the Health System to treat this Pandemic? ”

    No I don’t think it’s about getting extra cash for the Spanish Government, but Martin you must
    acknowledge the Spanish Police have been out in FORCE fining people and much worse.

    One naked woman in Torremolinos was beaten by the police. I don’t think she was drunk,
    I think whe had mental health problems. Another elderly woman had a taser pointed at her.

    I won’t post a link but you can look it up, there is video evidence.

    “She then tussles with police before being hit with a truncheon and is taken into a waiting ambulance.”

    Why are poice beating people on the back of their legs?

    Another incident …………

    “Spanish police officers have been placed under investigation for repeatedly pointing guns at two women during lockdown”

    We don’t need this heavy handed sort of policing.

  3. julie
    July 16, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Martin … I don’t mean to be pedantic, but you are not addressing my comment.

    It is illegal for me to take a stoll outside my home in the country on a very minor public road, without wearing a mask and with nobody in sight. A neighbour could (but probably wouldn’t) report me to the police and I might get a knock on the door by police for being outside, sin mascarilla!

    You said:

    “Julie, of course it makes sense. It means that you can not come unstuck, legally, by wearing one even if not required to whereas to do the contrary will get you a nice fine.”

    This is not correct. IT IS REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK ON A COUNTRY ROAD. Majorca this week have now said (contrary to a few days ago) wearing a mask in the countryside is not a requirement and I think this is a sensible approach.

  4. July 16, 2020 at 8:58 am

    SW: It is typically written by somebody who has observed. And who do you think those 2nd-home owners have brought down with them?

    The Costa Tropical, like it or not, owes its economy to tourism and it is precisely these holiday-home owners or those that rent them from their owners that irrigate the local economy. If they did not come down, then no business could open its doors.

    Sure, here on the coast, “we want their money, but we don’t want them here.” I get it.

    If you want to get an idea of who couldn’t give a damn about infecting others as they see themselves as immune and immortal, then take a look at Los Bajos del Paseo del Altillo in Almuñécar or the Paseo de Las Explanadas in Motril.

    I’m not saying that the problem is caused exclusively by youths; I’m am saying that they are a prime mover of the virus. When a driver parks and a family disembarks, the example is given by the parents – if they don’t bother to put a mask on, then they’re adolescent kids certainly aren’t going to.

    There is no crime in being young and foolish; the crime is being old and foolish, after all.

  5. Sw
    July 16, 2020 at 8:06 am

    “especially youths”
    Typically written by someone who no longer has youth on there side. We are back in this situation because of the older generation traveling to second homes on the coast and believing they are above the rest of us. They believe that there status makes them exempt from wearing masks and that the virus obviously doesn’t exist on a beach or in a bar.

  6. July 15, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    Hi, Jeremy.

    It is exactly the same as drink-driving. Nobody disputes that traffic fines and the point system for driving licence, as a system of coercion, has worked.

    You don’t “push back” against the traffic fine because they caught you driving whilst under the influence, which is just as irresponsible as not wearing a mask.

    It is as simple as that.

    We are where we find ourselves because the Government “recommended” use of masks, appealing to people’s sense of responsibility – it didn’t work.

    Take a look at images of Brit and German tourists in Magaluf, pissed out of the minds, dancing on cars… without a mask in sight. They have since closed down all the night bars. Serves them right and tough on the barowners who encourage this sort of client.

    I get it: they’re young, they want to have a good time and wearing a mask is uncool. My parent’s generation wanted to have a good time, but they ended up having to fight in a world war – shit happens. 😉

    I brought the US up as a contrast to our excellent Public Health Service here in Spain, which is being put under tremendous strain by some people’s irresponsible and selfish behaviour. It is not financed through fines; it’s financed through our taxes and you have the peace of mind to know that if you fall ill and require expensive and extensive hospital treatment, you won’t have to sell everything you have in order to enjoy it.

  7. Jeremy
    July 15, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    This is going to get tricky. The harder a people are coerced against their will then the harder they push back. And thus the harder they need to be coerced for their own good. And the young pushing back was / is most likely poor communication to them and an unduly harsh lockdown. Cross fingers for a speedy vaccine and a quick lowering of new cases. I don’t think bringing the US into the discussion is useful. They are a basket case. I’m waiting for them to think of using guns against the virus. No, even they wouldn’t, would they?

  8. July 15, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    You say, Julie, “Covid makes money for the Spanish Government through fines.” Do you honestly think that this is about getting a bit of extra cash through fines?

    Do you have any idea the millions upon millions that it is costing the Health System to treat this Pandemic?

    For every person that toes the line because they are afraid to catch a fine then that’s at least two people that will not need to be treated in a hospital.

    This is not the States where you have to mortgage your home to afford medical treatment in a squeeze because you’ve lost your job and medical insurance along with it or people simply can’t afford medical treatment – here, in Spain, it’s all provided through taxes so that you don’t have to worry about where you will find the money to cover the cost of medication and a hospital bed.

    If somebody can’t be bothered to wear a mask they’re going to get the same medical treatment afforded to somebody who does, although quite frankly they don’t damn well deserve it.

  9. July 15, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Julie, of course it makes sense. It means that you can not come unstuck, legally, by wearing one even if not required to whereas to do the contrary will get you a nice fine. This is all about people being lax, inconsiderate and irresponsible to date which has led us to this situation. Mask use would have remained “recommended only” if people had acted using common sense, but they haven’t, infection rates are climbing and some people only understand losing a hundred euros because they couldn’t give a damned about anybody else otherwise. I am not saying that this is your case, by the way.

    Anybody who watches the news coming from the States, where’s it’s all about the “Gubermint taking away my rights” and “no commie aint gonna make me wear a mask” whilst watching their infection rates and deaths soar should realise that making a personal effort not to infect others is the only thing that is between us and the health system being swamped with no respirators in the ICUs left.

  10. July 15, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    Carolina, do you have any idea how long it took to find the information and write the article so that people would have the information in time for the first time of the new norm?

    The text reads: “You are excused from wearing a mask “momentarily” whilst physically eating or drinking. This does not mean that all the while you are sat at a table you need not wear one.” You seriously feel that a readers could misconstrue what “one” is referring to, given the subject of the paragraph?

    Bring something to my attention if you feel that it needs clarification, by all means, Carolina, I would be grateful for it but please don’t make me waste my time when I should be preparing the next day’s articles. 😉

  11. Carolina
    July 15, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    “This does not mean that all the while you are sat at a table you need not wear one.”

    I wasn’t referring to while or whilst!

    While (or whilst) you are sitting at a table. I sat at the table wearing a mask. Were you sat at the table or sitting at the table?

    https://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2017/12/sat-stood.html

  12. julie
    July 15, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Spain has raked in over 1,000,000 fines relating to Covid, possibly more than other country per capita.

    I know of people who have been aggressively and imo unlawfully treated by police in Alumunecar with their young children present, when the lock down restrictions were relaxed.

    I’m sure we are going see more police on the streets fining people about the new mask regulations.

    Covid makes money for the Spanish Government through fines.

    Shouldn’t the police they be concerntrating their efforts on real criminals instead of law abiding decent people who let the mask drop to breathe. I can’t breathe was the George Floyd’s last words.

  13. julie
    July 15, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Martin in your reply to Ryan who wrote: “How about when walking with a partner in the countryside and away from others” ………… the point I made in a different thread.

    You wrote:

    “If in doubt, wear it. You can’t get fined for wearing it where it is not necessary. At the very least have it on you and put it on as soon as you spot somebody else or a vehicle approaching.”

    Your reply doesn’t make sense. “You can’t get fined for wearing it when it is not necessary”

    In my opinion it’s not necessary to wear a mask on a quiet road with nobody in sight, but if the police
    employ drones or patrol the area, then I would be fined. That’s just not fair and has absolutely no
    basis in science of the virus.

    Scientists all over the world differ with their opinions about Covid 19, but we are usually
    hearing the ones supported and paid for by Governments in the media.

  14. July 15, 2020 at 10:45 am

    If in doubt, wear it. You can’t get fined for wearing it where it is not necessary. At the very least have it on you and put it on as soon as you spot somebody else or a vehicle approaching.

  15. Ryan
    July 15, 2020 at 10:06 am

    How about when walking with a partner in the countryside and away from others

  16. July 15, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I virtually always use “whilst,” which is considered archaic/obsolete, so to be picked up on not using it for a change is surprising to say the least. 😉

  17. Carolina
    July 15, 2020 at 9:54 am

    “This does not mean that all the while you are sat at a table you need not wear one.”
    Your favourite pedant is revolting again whilst sat at home!

  18. July 15, 2020 at 9:22 am

    It’s a sad reality that until people in their late teens and 20s end up in the ICU or worse, they’re just going to think, “Ain’t my problem.”

  19. Heather Toms
    July 15, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Well said Martin and thanks for explaining clearly what so many seem to fail to understand. Let’s hope it works well and we see an improvement in cases.

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