BRITISH holidaymakers will have been told they must use face masks on Costa del Sol beaches from tomorrow.
The Balearics Islands exempted beaches as one of the places they had to be used when more restrictive rules were brought in yesterday.
But the Andalucian government, which is responsible for areas like the Costa del Sol and is tightening up its rules from midnight tonight, is not making beaches an exception.
Spokesman Elias Bendodo said they would have to be worn by people on beach strolls – and could only be taken off to go swimming or by people in their “family environment” when they are sat on the sand sunbathing and not moving around.
He told local press: “We are asking for face masks to be used on beaches and to move around pools so they have to be worn for strolls along the beach.”
He said people from the same family who live together could take them off while sunbathing as long as they were able to social distance and confirmed children under six would not have to wear them at any time on and off the beach.
But asked whether people who don’t live together would have to wear face masks even while sunbathing, he was quoted as saying: “When we talk about face masks, we’re referring to strolls along the beach and those reunions on the beach with people you’re not normally with."
“Each individual has to know and be responsible about what they consider to be their family environment.”
Fines of £90 will be handed out to those who flout the new rules in Spain’s most populated region with nearly nine million inhabitants.
The government announcement means that if Andalucia stays true to its intent, its face mask wearing regime could become one of the toughest in Spain.
The new rules in the Balearic Islands, which governors initially said would apply in places like bar terraces and would enable customers to take their face masks off only when food and drink arrived, were watered down before they became law.
Holidaymakers and other sunseekers will be keeping their fingers crossed too that they get watered down for places like the Costa del Sol, otherwise many could decide to stay away from the sand.
Mr Bendodo’s comments raise the prospect British tourists who have met up on holiday in Spain, or pals who have flown from the UK but don’t live together, could face problems if they sunbathe together face masks on, although it is unclear how such a complex situation could ever be properly policed.
Catalonia and Extremadura are among the other regions of Spain that now make face masks obligatory virtually everywhere in public outdoors.
Previously they only had to be worn outdoors in public where social distancing could not be guaranteed.
They have been mandatory throughout Spain for several weeks now in closed public spaces indoors like shops as well as on public transport.
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