ON May 21 Spain’s government made the decision to make the use of face masks in public spaces mandatory, however, with this decree also came the disposal of used face masks on the floor. Streets across the country have been littered with disposable protective gear and now town halls are taking action and issuing fines, ranging from €100-€3,000, to any residents caught throwing them on the floor.
Last week, the government made the use of protective face masks for everyone, above the age of six, mandatory. This rule is applied to open spaces and closed spaces, as long as the two-metre security distance cannot be upheld.
This new measure was inaugurated during Phase 1 of the de-escalation process and has some exceptions to the rule, such as not wearing a mask when exercising or if you have any respiratory problems. However, this obligation to wear a mask has been considered an important issue and a great preventative measure to limit the spread of the virus.
Nevertheless, the accumulation of used face masks and gloves on the streets, and even on the beaches, of Spain has become a staple image since the start of the new decree. In order to curtail this dangerous and irresponsible habit, the Spanish government has agreed that town halls across the nation can choose how much to fine their residents for doing so.
Toledo has been one of the first countries to issue these sanctions and these fines oscillate between the €150 and €3,000 mark. In Cadiz they have also began to issue sanctions, albeit at a fraction of the price, here anyone caught throwing their masks or dirty residuals on the floor will be charged between €100 and €750.
Another country which has adopted this method to help stop littering is Italy who has already established a sanctioning system for this irresponsible behaviour.