Wearing Face masks in Spain Questions and Answers

8th Facemasks on the beach

Spain’s central Health Ministry is to propose that face masks not be obligatory at all times while on the beach, provided that citizens are bathing, playing sport or resting in a fixed spot, and that a safe distance of 1.5 meters can be maintained from other people. While this suggestion – which will be conveyed to the country’s regional governments – does not specifically mention it, this would mean no face coverings while sunbathing.

The new proposal comes after national legislation was published in the Official State Bulletin (BOE) last week making masks obligatory even when people are alone in open spaces, something that was widely rejected by a number of regional governments.


Based on the latest Spanish Laws on the obligatory use of face masks.

100 euros for the owner of the vehicle if not all occupants are of the same household and not all are wearing their masks. This sanction will also apply if there are more than four people inside the car.

500 euros and 6 points deduction from driving licence if you're caught taking off your mask while driving/with motor running. Only in the event that the agents estimate that the severity of the distraction has been less, this amount could be reduced to 200 euros, without prejudice to the points of the licence.

80 euros for hanging your mask on the interior rear view mirror, as this can be a safety hazard as it can block visibility and cause a distraction to the driver.

Who is exempt from the rules?

Children under 6. People who have a disease or respiratory difficulty that can be aggravated by the use of the mask, people who due to their situation of dependency or disability do not have autonomy to remove the mask, and people whose behaviour may be altered when using the mask.

31st March - The Valencian Community will propose for the "New Normal Law" that the mask is not for mandatory use on the beach while sunbathing, provided that people are within a security perimeter two meters away, or during bathing.

The Ministry of Health of the Valencian Government, Ana Barceló, participated on Wednesday in the meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System convened by the Ministry of Health and chaired by Minister Carolina Darias, according to sources of the regional department.

At the meeting, which addressed the new regulations for the use of the mask throughout the national territory, Barceló announced that the Valencian Community will make contributions to the "New Normality Law" to regulate the use of the mask in beach spaces for the summer season.

The proposal means that beach users are exempt from the use of the mask as long as they are within a safety perimeter two meters away from other users and during bathing.

Barceló insisted that "whatever the regulations, citizens must always comply with the recommendations and standards established by health authorities", since "good data can never lead to the relaxation of compliance with the measures".

30th March 2021 - Face Masks in Public to be compulsory for all of Spain

Up until now the wearing of face masks in public and on beaches has been set by the various autonomous governments.  

Today however, the Spanish government announced a new law on Tuesday that will require people to wear face masks outdoors at all times including on beaches across the whole of Spain.

These rules have been in place in  the Valencian region which includes Benidorm for some time, so there is no change for us. 

“People from the age of six and older have the obligation to wear masks on public streets, in outdoor spaces and in any closed space that has a public use or is open to the public,” read the new law published in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

The new law applies to outdoor areas across the whole of Spain and include places like swimming pools and beaches. It would also apply even to areas that are not busy and where social distancing is not a problem.

The new national law confirms that the mask is mandatory for all air, sea, bus, or rail transport', as well as in 'supplementary public and private transport of passengers in vehicles of up to nine seats, including the driver, if the occupants of the tourist vehicles do not live in the same domicile. In the case of passengers on ships and vessels, the use of masks will not be necessary when they are inside their cabin'.

Interterritorial Health Council on Wednesday 31st to review and discuss the text to see "if there is any issue that has been published that is not exactly in line with everything learned".

29th January 2021 - Face Masks in Spain Updates

The use of the MASK on the BEACH and for SPORTS in urban areas will also be MANDATORY.

From the DOGV re Masks

People six years of age and older are required to use of the mask at all times on public roads, in open spaces free and in closed spaces for public use or open to the public.

The use of the mask will not be mandatory in the following assumptions:

a) During the practice of physical activity or any other activity outside population centers with which its use is incompatible. The use of a facemask is no longer compulsory for individual outdoor sports.

b) In children's and youth leisure activities while with the stable cohabitation group.

The obligation contained in the previous sections will not be required for people with any type of illness or shortness of breath that may be aggravated by the use of a mask or that due to their situation of disability or dependency they do not have autonomy to remove the mask, or have altered conduct that make its use unfeasible and in cases of force greater or situation of need.

For the purposes of this agreement, the obligation of use refers to masks, preferably hygienic and surgical, as well as to its proper use, that is, it has to cover from the part of the partition that nasal to the chin included. The use of a mask is not allowed with exhalation valve, except in the professional field for the case in that this type of mask may be recommended ”.

Measures related to swimming pools and beaches.

The use of face masks on beaches has been clarified; it is mandatory except while bathing.

Access to the beaches is allowed for walks or activities physical and sports outdoors, keeping distance measurements, physical training and hygiene and prevention, always within the limitation freedom of movement and mobility and the maximum number of people that can remain in a group, which is established by Decree of the

President of the Generalitat. The use of the mask on the beaches is mandatory at all times for all persons over six years of age.

Can I walk on the beach without a mask?

No. The new rule states that "the use of the mask on the beaches is mandatory at all times for all persons over six years of age".

24th October Face Masks in Spain Updates

With the new Curfew rules come harsher rules re wearing masks - 

Measures relating to the hotel and restaurant establishments - Use of a mask is obliged at all times except at the moment of eating or drinking.

Details of ALL the new Curfew rules can be found here

1st October - Fabric masks are prohibited at the General Hospital of Valencia

The General Hospital of Valencia has been the first health center of the C. Valenciana that emulates the Basque Country and prohibits access to its facilities with cloth masks by considering that they are not safe to prevent the transmission of the covid-19.

1st October A reprieve for the comfortable KN95 face masks.
These are Chinese in origin, and were due to be withdrawn from sale from today, in favour of the European equivalent....but there are so many still in stock, that the cut off date for sale/ purchase is now December 31st this year.

24th September  - Face masks in Spain, Discontinued and withdrawn from the market

KN95 masks.  Health authorities have reported that 30th September will be the last day they can be sold to the general public here in Spain. Last April, in the face of the emergence of the coronavirus crisis, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism authorized the sale of these personal protective equipment, which by filtering was equivalent to FFP2 but without complying with the CE marking (which is the one that guarantees their effectiveness according to European parameters). The N95, R95 or P95 will also disappear, for the same reason. The Directorate-General for Consumer Consumption also removes from the market two models of mask that do not justify in its documentation the antiviral and filtering properties of bacteria that they claim to possess, so there is an obvious risk to the health of those who use them.

These are the Disposable Protective Masks of the brand Tonqchen Wexin Labor Protection and the Premium Disposable Face Mask model JL-1-CE, with no known brand.

In addition to these three models, the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Healthcare Products(Aemps), under the Ministryof Health, has removed several batches of masks during the summer because they violate the current regulations that have been established to protect from the contagion of Covid-19. In turn, The Valencian Institute of Safety and Health at Work of the Generalitat has developed a guide with masks that do not protect us from coronavirus.

What does ce marking mean? That mark placed on a product or in the accompanying documents indicates that the product complies with the essential safety requirements of the European Directives or the EN (European Standards) technical standards affecting the marketing of that product. A CE-marked product can be marketed throughout the territory of the European Union.

Face Masks in Spain

Masks not approved

Regardless of the masks that Sanidad has removed directly from the market, there are others that are not approved and, therefore, their effectiveness is not guaranteed. These are, above all, fabric masks that do not have the corresponding labelling and therefore do not comply with the regulations. The authorities discourage them in any case. "The materials and methods of manufacture with which these masks are made are very diverse. In addition, they may not have passed verification or test control. So its effectiveness is not guaranteed," they stress from the Government.

This also includes fabric masks that carry filter. If it is an approved one there is no need for you to carry it. Neither the Ministry of Health nor WHO alludes to the need for them to be included and can even be harmful as it limits our ability to breathe with them on. Therefore, if we are going to resort to a cloth mask we should make sure that it has the reference UNE 0065:2020 indicating that this protection meets the filtration and breathability parameters established.

Masks not recommended

There are a number of masks that, by moral or solidarity criteria, are not recommended for use and that Fernando Simón, director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, has described as 'selfish'. We are talking about the FFP2 and FFP3 masks with valve as these only serve to protect those who wear them, but not others. The valve it makes is to facilitate air outlet without any filter and "can help the spread of the virus", according to the OCU.

As for the FFP2 and FPP3 without valve, these are Individual Protective Equipment and serve to protect yourself and others. "They are mainly recommended for use by professionals to create a barrier between a potential risk and the user. They may also be recommended for vulnerable groups by medical indication, "they say from the Ministry of Health

18th July - The Generalitat orders the mandatory use of Face masks in Spain applies throughout the Valencian Community (This includes Benidorm)

The Ministry of Health, Ana Barceló, has announced at noon today measures to cope with the escalation of contagion in the Community. mask will be mandatory ′′ at all times ′′ in the Valencian Communitat.

It will be necessary both on public roads and in outdoor spaces, as well as in enclosed spaces and spaces open to the public, regardless of whether or not the safety distance can be maintained.

There are very few exceptions, examples being when you are on beaches, swimming pools in water, or out in the "real" countryside, or carrying out sporting activities that are incompatible such as jogging or cycling.

Face Masks

The use of the Face masks in Spain will be mandatory even on the terraces of the catering premises  "The fact that we sit at a table on a terrace does not want to say that we should be unprotected," Barceló warned, exceptions are when you actually in the act of eating or drinking in a bar.  (This statement is open to various interpretations and has caused a lot of confusion which no one is clear about, so if unsure upon entering a bar or restaurant ask the staff)

If you have a medical condition preventing its use.  The person should get proof of this medical exemption from a doctor.

Barceló has stressed that contagions are fourfold in the age range between the ages of 20 and 40, as a result of private parties and not maintaining safety measures. And in the face of the increase in cases, the compulsory use of face masks has been decided, which will come into force today when the order of the Conselleria is published.

The consellera has also emphasized that use of face masks is "also recommended" in private, open or closed spaces, "when there is confluence with non-convivial people or interpersonal distance cannot be guaranteed".

Ignoring to wear a sanitary mask will become punishable by a fine in both open and closed spaces.

Not all masks are permissible: only sanitary and surgical-grade masks may be used; not masks with exhalation valves.

Face MaskFace Mask

Link to the official order

ALWAYS have a suitable mask with you at ALL times.

9th July -  Areas of Spain make wearing a mask compulsory at all times when outside  

The obligation to wear a mask at all times unless eating, drinking, or carrying out an activity which is "incompatible"....such as sport or sitting on the beach, has been formally approved in all the region of Cataluña. This is from the age of 6 years old

The regional parliament of the Baleares, Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca etc....Are to introduce the same rules from Saturday 11th July

21st June 

During the "New Normal" Face masks in Spain continue to be compulsory and The 'new normal' measures will be in effect until there is a vaccine or treatment.

Failure to not wear the mask, will be punished with fines of up to 100 euros and it will be the autonomous communities and local entities that will be responsible for surveillance, inspection and control there is also a similar fine for NOT disposing of masks correctly, ie throwing it in the street.

ALWAYS have a suitable mask with you at ALL times.

The mask will be mandatory also in the means of air, sea, bus, or rail transport. In complementary public and private transport of passengers in vehicles of up to nine seats, including the driver, the mask will be mandatory if the occupants of the tourist vehicles do not live together at the same address."

Correct use of Face Masks

Questions and answers

Who should wear the Face masks in Spain?

They are compulsory for those over six years old, and are recommended from the age of three inclusive.

When should they be used?

As from 12.00 18th July AT ALL TIMES even if you can social distance.

It will be necessary both on public roads and in outdoor spaces, as well as in enclosed spaces and spaces open to the public, regardless of whether or not the safety distance can be maintained.

There are very few exceptions, examples being when you are on beaches, swimming pools in water, or out in the "real" countryside, or carrying out sporting activities that are incompatible such as jogging or cycling.

The use of the masks will be mandatory even on the terraces of the catering premises  "The fact that we sit at a table on a terrace does not want to say that we should be unprotected," Barceló warned, exceptions are when you actually in the act of eating or drinking in a bar.

Also outdoors?

YES They will also have to be used if you are outdoors.

What masks should I use?

Anything goes, but hygienic ones (such as those sold, for example, in painters' hardware stores) or surgical ones (which are usually white and blue) are recommended. It is advisable not to use the more complex ones (type FFP2 or FFP3) because they are more difficult to use well and should be reserved for professionals.

The best masks you can find in supermarkets

The Consumer and User Organization (OCU) highlights the models of large chains that are most effective in protecting from coronavirus.  after analysing eight single-use masks and three reusable ones for sale in large supermarket chains, those that have adequate filtration efficiency, are those marketed by Mercadona, Día, Aldi and Lidl.

non-reusable hygienic masks 'Deliplús' (Mercadona), according to analysis, they have 99 percent filtration efficiency and good breathability. Against it, the limited resistance of the clamping rubber, which can be released.

'Mask4U',three-layer medical mask (Dia), stands out for its filtration efficiency, 98 percent, and its good breathability. Similarly, the resistance of the rubbers is a little weak.

'Jiangsu Excellence',non-reusable masks (Lidl) offer 99 percent filtration efficiency and good rubber strength, although their breathability is 'improveable'.

For reusable masks analysed, the filtration efficiency is lower, although it is still acceptable for this category according to the limits currently being discussed by the European standardisation committee.

'Belpla', a multilayer reusable mask (Consum), which offers 'good breathability' and is 'very cheap', if used five times it ends up going out for 20 cents the unit. After five washes with detergent at 60 degrees, it varies between 68 percent and 86 efficency

How long can I use them?

That will depend on the model used, the manufacturer must indicate it. When it comes to home fabric protections, the U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends that they be double-layer thick cotton, but they can be reused after machine washing. The General Council of Nursing Colleges and the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (Separ) explain that these masks usually serve four or eight hours "intermittently or continuously." To store them, it is advisable to put them in a breathable material bag (paper, cloth). Some of the hygienic ones can also be washed. To throw them away, put them in a plastic bag.

Can I reuse it?

There are disposable masks and others reusable. In the latter, care must be taken when putting them on and taking them off so as not to touch the inside, and they should not be shared with other people.

What happens if I don't take it where it should?

The Interior Ministry is studying the sanctions regime. If the Citizen Security law were applied, minor offenses are sanctioned with amounts ranging from 100 to 600 euros.

When am I protecting myself well?

The mask should cover the nose and mouth, but without preventing breathing. It is intended to prevent us from spreading droplets by breathing, talking, coughing, or gasping. These droplets are the main means of transmission of the virus..

What if I have a respiratory or other illness and cannot breathe well with the mask?

“Duly justified” health reasons are included as a reason to stop using the mask.

The ministerial order establishes four exceptions to this rule. "People who present some type of respiratory distress", "people in whom the use of a mask is contraindicated for duly justified health reasons, or who due to their disability or dependency situation present behavioral changes that make their use unfeasible", " development of activities in which the use of the mask is incompatible ”and a generic“ cause of force majeure or situation of need ”

What if it is a person with a disability who cannot bear it?

You are also exempt from using it.

What if I can't afford it?

The standard includes "causes of force majeure" among the reasons for not wearing a mask.

And in a house with family or friends?

If they are not people with whom the confinement has been passed, they must wear a mask or maintain a the social distance of 1.5m. It is always advisable to take both measures at the same time, especially if there are vulnerable people in the group.

What happens in a bar or restaurant?

To eat or drink it is obvious that you have to take it off, but you have to keep the safety distance with other tables and replace the mask when not eating or drinking.

And on public transport?

In subways, buses, suburbs, taxis and VTC it is still mandatory to wear a mask, an order that has been in force since May 4 . The services of shared public bikes and motorcycles and electric rental cars also usually require the use of gloves .

How long will this rule be in force?

The 'new normal' measures will be in effect until there is a vaccine or treatment.



-1 # Lela 2020-10-24 20:35
I have my except card ( uk ) but The problem is my medical stuff are a in English please don't say as doctor to translate as no uk doctor will do.
So what is the option as I'm a frequent visitor as my family police not fluent English.
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0 # Tracy Ann 2020-10-24 23:22
I know its frustrating but it would be better if you could get it translated, as you say not all police read/speak English.
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0 # Beard 2020-09-29 12:31
Can we wear face shields in Benidorm?.
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0 # Tracy Ann 2020-09-29 17:31
Hi, no sorry unfortunately they are not permitted here only the types stated on the page above. If you wore a shield then you would be expected to wear a mask underneath.
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0 # john tom 2020-08-29 08:29
what a Complete farce , so in the UK we where advised not to wear a mask as it was scientifically proven not to to prevent you catching a virus it did not need really to be told did it it's that obvious so been advised to not wear one for the period that was the pandemic more or less with thousands supposedly dying each day then when the actual dying stops we are then advised to start wearing a bloody mask bloody hilarious the UK and spain inspeially are being run by clowns the wearing of masks has been going on in china for years because of the bad pollution they have yet when this virus came it spread like wildfire does that not tell these clowns anything god help us spain is finnished they think that british tourists will be keeping them afloat with a bloody mask in the heat there dream on
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0 # Tracy Ann 2020-08-29 08:58
I feel your frustration, but it has been the law here in Spain since 21s May, and basically you need to follow the rules of the country you are in or you may receive a fine.
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