As of 21 May 2020, the use of face masks (preferably, hygienic and surgical) by the general population in Spain (six years onwards, unless an exclusion applies – see below) becomes mandatory on public roads, open spaces, and any enclosed space for public use or which is open to the public, provided that it is not possible to maintain an interpersonal safety distance of at least two meters (Order SND/422/2020).
The above obligation shall not be enforceable in the following events:
Persons who have any type of respiratory distress that can be seen aggravated by the use of face masks.
Persons in whom the use of face masks is contraindicated for health reasons duly justified, or that due to their situation of disability or dependence present behavioral alterations that make their use unfeasible.
Development of activities in which, by the very nature of these, it is incompatible with the use of face masks, such as food and drink intake.
Force majeure or situation of necessity.
In any event, the indications/recommendations of the health authorities concerning the use of face masks shall be duly observed, including the guidelines on the use of face masks in the community in the context of COVID-19 dated 20 April 2020 (in everything that does not contradict or is not in line with the above). It is expected, therefore, that these guidelines will soon be updated to adapt them to this new reality. The following recommendations remain applicable:
- all professionals working in health care settings and whose position requires them to be less than two meters away from others;
- caregivers of individuals with confirmed COVID-19 or clear symptoms of COVID-19 when treating the individual within a two-meter distance (the patient must also wear a surgical face mask);
- people with suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 when someone enters their room (when in home quarantine) or is in contact of less than two meters with them or if the individuals themselves need to go out in public (when strictly necessary);
- people who have been in close contact with someone in the last 14 days with confirmed COVID-19 or clear symptoms of COVID-19 when around their cohabitants and when out in public;
vulnerable groups (the elderly (over 60), individuals with chronic diseases (including high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, cancer etc.) and pregnant women) if in contact with others in their household or if going out in public.
Hygienic face masks (i.e., non-surgical face masks not intended for use by health care professionals) are recommended for use by any healthy individual (i.e., a person who has no symptoms of COVID-19 and has had no contact with any individual with COVID-19 symptoms).
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Authored by Álvaro Abad