New measures on the use of masks come into force for the summer season

Masks need not be worn if swimming in the sea or resting on the beach so long as the minimum distance of 1.5m between beach users can be maintained.

La Granadella beach, in an image from last summer.

Monday 12th April 2021 | ALVARO MONFORT; translation by MIKE SMITH

Mask in outdoor spaces, yes or no? Sports, with or without a mask? What will happen on the beaches? The latest updates on this mandatory health measure are generating real headaches in a population that, although it has become accustomed to its daily use, is also becoming tired and this causes increasingly frequent irresponsible attitudes. The arrival of good weather and the hot months doesn’t make things any easier, providing an excuse to not wear a mask, despite the fact that social empathy should be above personal interests. From this Monday 12th April, the new provisions established by the Generalitat Valenciana regarding this measure come into force.

This article includes the latest specifications of the Generalitat Valenciana in relation to the use of the mask in the autonomous community, an update that starts from the existing regulations (and that the regional government can modify at any time to meet the evolution of the pandemic, either way) but includes small amendments for the summer season.

Mandatory use of the mask in people aged six years and over: On public roads, in outdoor spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public, regardless of the maintenance of the physical interpersonal distance of safety. In means of air and maritime transport (unless they are inside their cabins), buses, rail, public and private transport of vehicles with up to nine seats (person who drives included) if the occupants do not live in the same address.

The exceptions are: People who suffer from some type of disease or respiratory difficulty that may be aggravated by its use or who, due to their situation of disability or dependence, do not have the autonomy to remove it or have behavioral alterations that make it use impossible.

It is also not required for the exercise of individual sport (not collective) in the open air, nor in cases of force majeure or when, due to the very nature of the activities, the use of the mask is incompatible. Activities, outdoors and alone, that involve physical effort of a non-sporting nature, maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 meters with people who do not live together, are equal to individual sport.

Activities compatible with the use of the mask: The walk to access beaches, lakes and other natural environments. Also on the seashore and in the surroundings close to them (for example, in the Primer Montañar or La Caleta). In the changing rooms of public or community swimming pools, except in the showers and while staying inside or outside a hotel establishment outside of the times strictly necessary to eat and drink. That is, the gathering and table talk should be done with the mask on.

Activities incompatible with the use of the mask: Bathing in the sea, lakes, reservoirs, rivers and outdoor or indoor pools. Nor is it mandatory in the practice of water sports or in its environment, during periods of rest before or after bathing. In the case of being on beaches, rivers or similar places abroad, the mask may not be used as long as the person is not wandering and stays at a certain point, maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other people. If you are in a group, it cannot exceed the maximum allowed (six people and with the necessary social distancing if they are not living together). In the case of covered swimming pools or in the event that this relaxation is carried out on board boats, the rest period will only be understood as that which is strictly necessary between activity intervals.

Other activities in which masks are not mandatory include during the rescue activities by lifeguards or emergency teams at the time of accessing the aquatic environment, and at the moment of eating or drinking in authorized places.

Failure to comply with this regulation has its associated sanctions, subject to the inspection activity procedure and the specific regime established by the regional government in Decree Law 11/2020 for breaches of the regulatory provisions of prevention measures against COVID-19.

Click below to read the original article in Spanish on Xàbia AL DÍA