The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, has asked that “common sense” solutions be found, while always protecting public health, to the mandatory use of masks included in Tuesday’s Official State Gazette (BOE), reported to include beaches and swimming pools, regardless of any interpersonal distance that may exist. The BOE itself however does not appear to specifically mention either beaches or swimming pools. ? 


This was made clear to the media on Wednesday by stating that if a person maintains a minimum distance or is alone on a beach and respects all other anti-covid measures, that they would not have to use a mask when sun bathing, swimming or having food or drink. Moving around on the beach itself, however, he pointed out, would mean having to wear a mask to avoid contagion.

So in reality, nothing is likely to have actually changed, according to the Regional President this morning.  However there will be more clarifications to come.

“The mandatory use of the masks on beaches and at swimming pools is not the result of a new agreement, but rather of a Decree Law by the Government of Spain a year ago, that was brought to Congress and became Law,” he said pointing out that distance was still a factor and the mask has been mandatory everywhere.

Torres made clear that this Law has just been published, based on the existing reality, and insisted that it is not a recent decision. “We have to find solutions – he stressed – because what we have to do is show common sense, while protecting health.”

Torres explained that last May the decision was made, in the face of an upturn in cases, to use masks whenever moving around on the beaches, at swimming pools and in hotels, but that they could be removed when swimming or sunbathing, whenever the mandatory minimum distance was maintained.  Or at least, he insisted, that has always been his understanding.

“Today there are indications – during the Inter-territorial that takes place this Wednesday – that there will be a reasonable solution to this situation.”

However, Torres observed that images have been seen of people who do not respect measures to prevent contagion and that it is something that the Government of the Canary Islands is “very concerned” about, which is why indications have been given to the security forces and State institutions to ensure they are “relentless” in enforcing the rules.

“We cannot have ten people without masks, as we have seen on Canary Islands beaches of yesterday and on Monday night. We are at risk that this could get a little out of hand with an increase in infections and we are very concerned about this Holy Week, “he concluded.