Following a meeting on Wednesday between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Spain’s 17 regional leaders, it was decided that wearing facemasks outdoors would become mandatory. The rule applies even in situations when it is possible to distance yourself 1.5 meters away from others.
The announcement follows Spain recording its highest daily number of COVID-19 infections since the pandemic began. With 47% of the new infections being the highly-contagious Omicron strain, the worry is that the Spanish healthcare system will not be able to cope with a massive influx of new patients. Despite the vast majority of adults in Spain being fully vaccinated, regional leaders believe that mandatory face masks will help to stop the virus from spreading.
Even though wearing facemasks while outdoors was not mandatory, many Spaniards continued to do so, so the new law would not have the kind of backlash that it might have caused in other European countries.