Science and Health

Spain Requires Masks In All Crowded Public Spaces

Any healthy person older than 5 must wear a mask, indoors and outdoors, when it's not possible to maintain 6.5 feet of distance between people.

Spain Requires Masks In All Crowded Public Spaces
Emilio Morenatti / AP

Spain is mandating stricter rules on wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Thursday, anyone 6 years old and older will be required to wear a mask in public places, whether indoors or outdoors, where it's not possible to maintain social distancing of at least 6.5 feet. The government recommends, but will not require, masks for children 3-5 years old, and anyone with health issues is exempt from the order.

Spain, which was once the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, has gradually eased lockdown restrictions, allowing restaurants, bars, small shops, libraries and museums to begin reopening.

The mask order, which Spain says is in accordance with World Health Organization recommendations, will continue throughout its national state of emergency. That's expected to expire on June 6.