Mandatory face mask ruling may be delayed. | Jaume Morey


Face masks may not be compulsory from Monday after all.

The Department of Health has indicated that the details are still being drafted and the new ruling that makes masks compulsory in all public spaces regardless of social distancing may be delayed.

"The resolution, that will decree the obligatory use of the mask, will be published in the Official Butlletí de les Balears or BOIB on Monday" and is effective the same day, but the details "cannot be confirmed” explained a Health Department Spokesperson.

Apparently the devil is in the detail and it's the exact wording of where and when masks should be mandatory that's causing delays in drafting the document.

“The Government wants to be sure everything is very clear and that there’s no confusion over the text or how it’s interpreted,” said a Spokesperson.

The resolution will also specify which masks are valid and which are not. Masks that work with valves will not be acceptable because they only protect the wearer, not third parties.

Anyone who doesn’t wear a mask will be fined 100 euros but the Government says there will be some leeway in the first few days of the ruling.

Business and Hotel Management Sectors have warned that forcing people to wear a mask has caused a wave of cancellations of tourist reservations and there are fears that the new ruling will harm economic recovery.

The Health Department has denied that the delay in publishing the resolution is in any way related to these criticisms.

Validity of fines

The regulation establishing sanctions of up to 600,000 for promoting parties in public or private places in the Balearic Islands was published on Friday.

Minor offences, such as exceeding capacity, not wearing face masks or not complying with social distance rules can be fined €100-€3,000.

Serious offences, which include organising or participating in meetings or parties where crowding prevents or hinders health and safety protocols or putting people’s health at risk will result in penalties of €3,001-€60,000.

Very serious offences, such as the commercialisation of parties in public or private places, not complying with capacity limitations, having a dance floor and putting people’s health at risk because of crowding will result in fines of up to 600,000 euros and the establishment involved will be shut down for a maximum period of years even if the venue changes hands.

The sanctions also apply to party boats, tourist rentals and private houses and if an illegal party is held in holiday accommodation the owners will be banned from advertising it for 3 years.

The State Security Bodies and Forces initially had some doubts about the validity of the party ruling, but an agreement between the State and the Government has confirmed its legality.