Masks ceased to be compulsory on Saturday – 26th June 26 – outdoors, but there are exceptions apply and national health authorities have attempted to clarify a number of queries that have arisen from the general public since the move was announced.
It is still a legal requirement to wear a mask in a range of situations, so it is strongly recommended that everyone has one available to put on if they need to.
Although they are not technically required just for walking down the street, they must be worn even in open-air spaces where it is impossible, or difficult, to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between people, except where these people are members of the same household.
This means fines can still be handed out for those not wearing masks in, for example, crowded shopping streets or when gathering in groups outdoors in public. And fines continue to apply for not wearing a mask in indoor spaces, other than private homes.
Minister Carolina Darías says the new mask rules are a ‘tremendously important’ decision, taken because ‘all indications show improvement’ and the vaccine roll-out is ‘moving at a very swift pace indeed’.
This, she says, allows the government to ‘introduce a certain level of flexibility’, albeit ‘cautiously’, and always founded on ‘scientific evidence’, based upon the fact that viral transmission through the air, or contagion, is much lower than in enclosed spaces.
“Masks are going to give way to smiles,” the health minister says.