People in Spain are now required to wear face masks in public spaces when a minimum two-meter (about 6.5 feet) distance can't be guaranteed, the Health Ministry announced in a decree today.
The rule applies to all people over the age of six, in both indoor and outdoor spaces. People who have respiratory problems or disabilities incompatible with masks are exempt.
"Any type of mask" is allowed as long as it covers the nose and mouth, though the ministry recommended "hygienic and surgical” masks.
Emergency order: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and other government ministers will meet today to vote on extending the national state of emergency by two weeks.
The state of emergency, with strict movement restrictions, started March 14 and has so far been extended four times, for a total of 10 weeks.
It has apparently helped curb the virus -- Spain has seen its daily new cases and deaths begin to slow -- but it has also attracted criticism from some quarters.
For weeks, some people banged pots from their windows in the evenings as a form of protest -- this escalated to marching on the streets last week to demand the government end restrictions on movement.