How, What, Where, When? A No Nonsense Guide to Face Mask Regulations in Spain’s Public Spaces


On Thursday, May 21, the use of face masks will be obligatory when utilising public spaces in Spain. However, there are various rules and regulations which accompany this new decree. We have complied these into an easy, understandable guide for readers below.

Regulations For The Obligatory Use of Face Masks in Public Spaces

Where Must I Use Them?

-- Advertisement --

  • Public pathway
  • Open air spaces
  • Enclosed public spaces

Which Type of Masks?  

  • Any type of masks is valid as long as they cover the mouth and the nose
  • Recommended masks are either the hygienic or surgical ones 

Who Should Use Them?

  • Obligation for individuals over 6 years old
  • Recommended for children from the ages of 3 to 5
  • Not necessary for children younger than 3

Who Shouldn’t Use Them?  

  • Individuals with respiratory issues
  • Contradictory reasons related to health problems or disabilities

When Should They Be Used?

  • When an interpersonal distance of 2m cannot be kept between individuals  

When Shouldn’t They Be Used?

  • When ingesting food or drink
  • When there is a force majeure or necessity

 Sanctions for not complying with these rules can range from 601 – €30,000. 




  1. This law will just incite social hatred against people with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask! Such people will just receive so much abuse that they will feel unable and even terrified to leave their homes! One medical condition which exempts the use of masks is anxiety… this law will just exacerbate it! Will they be denied entry to shops and other places for not wearing a mask? Will they have to produce a medical certificate?? Why should anyone have to justify or even prove they have a medical condition to anyone and everyone??? Isn’t that private and confidential information?! And for how long will this ‘law’ extend?? Weeks? Months? This law is in total contradiction to the changing phases of lockdown. It’s just plain ridiculous! Forget Franco! Sanchez is the new dictator on the block!

    • That’s exactly true! The decree states: “Using masks will be compulsory on the street, in open spaces and any closed place of public use, when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance of at least two metres (6.5ft).” But the way the press are portraying it and the general public are seeing it, you must wear a mask the minute you step out of your front door. I was told on Tuesday in my local village shop that I would have to wear a mask, the same village shop I have been visiting for the last 10 weeks of lockdown WITHOUT wearing a mask! even though social distancing has been applied within the shop during the whole period! 45 million people in Spain now expected to wear masks, and yet staff in hospitals and care home are struggling to get PPE! Wouldn’t resources best be directed to those on the front line??! But that is another issue. The main focus for me is not everyone wants to or is able to (due to medical reasons) wear a mask , and you shouldn’t have to justify yourself to police, a shopkeeper or a member of the public. It’s an invasion of privacy and against human rights.

  2. Mostly agree with Emma. There is zero evidence showing it makes any difference in public spaces indeed plenty of evidence to the contrary. I was watching one chap yesterday in a cafe wearing a mask, and pulling it down with his hands every time he took a mouthful, clearly oblivious to the fact that it might have the virus on it. He wouldn’t have been touching his face every ten seconds if he hadn’t had a mask. People wearing masks thinks it protects them – it doesn’t. It helps prevent you infecting others, but if you are not sneezing or coughing your breath does not travel 2 metres anyway so social distancing should be enough. They need to read the WHO guidance which has been consistent that masks on their own are not helpful unless in clinical settings.
    I also have a medical condition which prevents the wearing of a mask and could do me permanent damage. Unfortunately a UK doctor’s note won’t be much use and wouldn’t allow me to get a flight home either, where masks are compulsory. So frustrating. People walking along a beach with no-one else within 100 yds of them, take off your mask, you don’t need it! There are a lot of sheep-people around, confident in their ignorance, and it is a shame to see that.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here