Holidaymakers to Spain will have to wear face coverings on the beach this summer

Credit: AP

Holidaymakers to Spain will have to wear face coverings on the beach as the country tightens mask rules.

Face coverings have been mandatory since May 2020 in Spain in places where it is not possible to social distance.

But as of this Wednesday, face coverings will be required outdoors and in all public places - including the beach - for anyone over the age of six. Exceptions will continue to be made for people with medical conditions or respiratory problems or for those exercising outdoors.

Residents wearing face masks walk along a near-empty street in Pamplona Credit: Alvaro Barrientos/AP

However, although the rule is to be processed as law, it may not be mandated nationwide as it depends on the agreement from regional health ministers.

Previously, regional authorities could allow tourists to remove face coverings when sunbathing as long as they were able to maintain a 1.5 metre distance.

The Balearic health minister Patricia Gómez has indicated that masks at beaches and by pools will not be obligatory in the region as long as a safe distance is maintained.

An agreement with regional governments is to be signed on Wednesday which will make clear the regulations

Carolina Darias, the national minister of health, said the rule will be processed as a law but technical issues, including those raised by regional governments, will be considered.

An agreement, which will need consensus from regional leaders, will be signed on Wednesday, local media reported.

A couple have dinner in an empty restaurant next to the beach in Barcelona, Spain. Credit: AP

Spain has recorded over 75,000 deaths during the pandemic with nearly 3.3 million cases. The government has vowed to vaccinate 70% of Spain's population by the end of summer.

Around 2.6 million people in the nation of around 47 million people have so far been fully vaccinated, mainly residents and workers in nursing homes who were given priority.

The health secretary Matt Hancock said earlier this week that "the door is not shut" on international travel this summer as England begins to ease Covid restrictions.

The government is reportedly considering a four-tier traffic light system which could allow people to travel abroad this summer after 17 May.

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