While many Britons are eager to get away on holiday, the current rules state this is not yet possible. When travel does reopen, tourists visiting Spain could be forced to wear face masks on the beach.
The current travel advice from the UK Government is to travel as little as possible. While UK holidays and staycations could be allowed in a matter of weeks, international travel is currently off the cards.
Britons can only travel if they have a “reasonable excuse to leave the UK”, such as work, education, medical treatment, or to provide care for a vulnerable person.
Tourists may have to observe new rules if visiting Spain when travel does reopen, however.
A new law in Spain states it is mandatory to carry a mask even when in outdoor spaces.
This includes beaches and other tourist destinations and the rules apply even if there is a interpersonal distance of more than 1.5 metres.
Previously, those in Spain were only required to wear a mask outside when there was less than 1.5 metres distance between them.
The new rule, published yesterday by Official State Gazette, states distance is no longer a factor of whether people need to wear a mask or not.
The law will apply to all people over the age of six when they appear out in public. It is expected to remain in place until the coronavirus crisis is over.
“People six years of age and older are obliged to use masks… on public roads, in open-air spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public,” it states.
“Until the Government declares in a motivated manner and in accordance with scientific evidence the end of the health crisis situation caused by Covid-19.”
However, those in the Balearic Islands won’t need to wear a mask, as long as there is distance between people, if they are with their social bubble or if they are sunbathing.
This was stated today by the Councillor of Health, Patricia Gómez, who explained that the Balearic Islands will continue to maintain this measure, agreed in November in the Government Council. However, the mask must be worn for those on the beach in a meeting with another social bubble and a maximum of six people.
Gómez has specified these details after participating in the Interterritorial Health Council, where the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, explained that the “New Normality Law,” published this Tuesday in the Official State Gazette, but drafted in June of last year as a Decree Law, has been decontextualised and, for this reason, she has proposed working in a technical-legal committee with the participation of the different regions to modify the measure, “provided there is consensus.”
With no end date in sight for Spanish face mask rules, Britons may have to observe the new law when travel to Spain is permitted again.
Being made to wear a mask while visiting beaches or swimming pools may be less than desirable for many tourists.
Wearing masks in public was introduced in Spain last year to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The previous rule only applied to people in public spaces indoors and in cramped spaces outdoors, however this has now changed.
Like with previous laws, some people will be exempt from wearing masks in public spaces.
Those who have an illness or respiratory difficulty do not need to wear face coverings in public.
The statement continued: “It will not be required either in the case of individual outdoor sport.
“Or in cases when, due to the very nature of the activities, the use of the mask is incompatible, in accordance with the indications of the health authorities.”
Travel rules have constantly changed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Britons should check with Government restrictions before making any travel plans.