The 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.