Spain tightens its regulations against Covid-19: mandatory mask even if there is distance and contact traceability
The Government has published in the BOE changes regarding measures to deal with Covid-19, such as the use of the mask, medications or contact traceability. These are the novelties that have been introduced today; a series of modifications regarding the law that was presented in June 2020 after the completion of the first state of alarm decree.
Spain regulates at the national level one of the measures that the autonomous communities had already implemented: the obligation to carry the mask outdoors even if there is no safety distance, including outdoor spaces such as the beach, the pool or the mountain.
The mask will be mandatory at all times and equally in all communities
Government suppresses references at 1.5 meters distance in the text, both in the sections where the use of masks in public spaces was conditioned and the reference to the safety distance in the case of educational centers.
Article 6 of the prevention and hygiene measures is defined as follows in its first section:
“People six years of age and older are obliged to use masks on public roads, in outdoor spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public.”
The reference to distance is therefore eliminated, causing the obligation of the mask outdoors is more generic. An obligation that will remain until the Government declares that the health crisis has ended.
Until now, it was the autonomous communities that had described the use of the mask in specific situations, such as while sunbathing on the beach. Now this is included in the law at the national level and should be applied equally in all regions.
Among the only exceptions that are contemplated continues to be the cases of individual sport exercise in the open air, in cases of force majeure or when people present some type of disability, dependence, illness or respiratory difficulty that may be aggravated by the mask.
Contact traceability for better epidemiological control
The update of the law also incorporates changes in articles 26 and 27, referring to contact traceability and data protection:
“The establishments, means of transport or any other place, center or public or private entity in which the health authorities identify the need for traceability of contacts, will have the obligation to provide the health authorities with the information they have or that they have. It is requested from them regarding the identification and contact details of the potentially affected persons, without prejudice to the legal right to the protection of their data “.
In the new Law 2/2021, assumptions are expressly contemplated for the tracing of contacts in different environments, as described Sergio Carrasco, lawyer at ICAIB and expert in privacy and security.
“This serves as a basis for both the conservation and the transfer of data for the purpose of traceability in cases such as passenger transport as well as in establishments in general when the health authority so indicates“, explains Carrasco.” Let’s think about controls in restaurants, QR applications and other establishments that could be left out but where it is understood that it is interesting to do this monitoring. ”
Javier Sempere, lawyer of the CGPJ and expert in data protection, explains that “had already appeared in some regional order regarding bar establishments. It is a precept in a broad sense, since it speaks of establishments / means of transport, and any other place, center, public or private. It leaves it open to the judgment of the health authority, whenever it considers it necessary. ”