Spain drops face mask rule for people sunbathing and swimming

A sign shows rules for wearing facemasks on the beach at Playa Dorada in Lanzarote, Spain on 22nd November 2020. Beaches and resorts across the island are nearly deserted since tourism plummeted due to Covid restrictions elsewhere in Europe. Although the Canary Islands have been relatively unscathed by the virus, with 155 lives lost from 2.1 million residents, the region is heavily dependent on tourism and locals are hoping that numbers recover as lockdown measures ease and vaccines potentially reduce the numbers of infections. (Photo by Jonathan Perugia/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Spain has done a U-turn after initially demanding tourists wore masks on the beach (Picture: Jonathan Perugia/In Pictures via Getty Images)

British tourists visiting Spain this summer will no longer be required to wear a face mask while sunbathing or swimming.

Health chiefs have now abandoned strict plans demanding people wear face coverings while they are on the beach, swimming in an outdoor or covered pool, or in the sea.

But holidaymakers must wear a mask when they are walking to the beach or using communal facilities.

They are also required in outdoor restaurants, cafes or bars – except when customers are eating or drinking.

Authorities released a statement confirming face coverings will not be mandatory while sunbathing or swimming but urged people to be ‘careful’, the Telegraph reports.

Masks can be removed on the beach when a person ‘remains in a specific place’ and ‘respects a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from non-household members’.

The ‘draconian’ rules, first announced on March 30, were revised amid widespread criticism as tourism bosses feared people would travel elsewhere this summer.

José Luis Zoreda, vice-president of Exceltur, an organisation that represents Spain’s tourism industry, told newspaper El País at the time: ‘We’re going through hell with thousands of jobs and businesses threatened and now they want to turn the beaches into open-air field hospitals.’

Sunbathers will no longer be required to wear a mask on the beach in Spain (Picture: Desiree Martin / AFP via Getty Images)
Spain revised the rules after making face masks mandatory on the beach at the end of March (Picture: Josep LAGO / AFP via Getty Images)

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Holidaymakers also apparently complained sunbathing with a mask would leave them with ‘two-tone faces’.

The decision has sparked some fears of a potential spike in coronavirus cases.

But many also …read more

Source:: Metro News

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