The beach mask rule has generated a good deal of controversy. | Josep Bagur Gomila

Balearic health minister Patricia Gómez has announced that the wearing of masks on beaches and by pools will not be obligatory in the Balearics if safe distance is maintained. There is to be the signing of an agreement on Wednesday which makes clear that the prevailing regulations are those of regional governments. Meanwhile, the regulation on social gathering applies to beaches as it does elsewhere - no more than six people from two households. This regulation also indicates that masks should be worn where there is more than one "cohabitation" group.

The Spanish government's publication of the new rule making masks mandatory on beaches and by pools created a good deal of controversy. The Balearic government took the view that its regulations, which exclude beaches and pools so long as there is safe distancing, should continue to be applied.

The national minister of health, Carolina Darias, says that the rule is to be processed as a law but that legal and technical issues, including those raised by regional governments, are being considered. The law will be modified if there is consensus.

Gómez is of the opinion that the regulations in the Balearics cannot be exceeded by those proposed by Madrid, as the proposed new law refers to "in accordance with the health authorities". In other words, this implies that a regional government's regulations take precedence.

There is to be another meeting of the Inter-Territorial Council for the National Health System next Wednesday. This will further clarify regulations. And it is evident that they will need to be clarified.