In the last days, in Spain, tranquility and serenity are distant synonyms when we imagine an afternoon on the beach. After the Government of Nuestros Hermanos declared the obligation to use masks on beaches and pools, this Wednesday, the law, which generated controversy among the inhabitants, was vetoed.
The Ministry of Health will propose that, if it is possible to maintain a safety distance of at least 1.5 meters, Spaniards can be without a mask on the beaches, as well as if they are exercising, applying in places such as beach, pool, lakes or rivers.
However, this protective equipment must be adopted when the individual is on the move, for example, taking a walk on the beach.
The original law stated that the use of a mask was mandatory throughout the Spanish territory for people over 6 years of age, imposing a fine that could go up to 100 € for anyone who disrespected it, including in air, sea, road or railways, whether public or private transport.
Despite being passed, this law caused revolt among the population and, as a protest, dozens of people organized an impromptu party on the beach of Barceloneta, in Barcelona, where the participants met without masks and without respecting social distance, as a challenge to the authorities.
But this law has raised doubts even among members of the Government. “I don’t know if it is good to force yourself to wear a mask on the beach”, asked the secretary of public health of the regional government of Catalonia, Josep Maria Argimon, quoted by The country, justifying that sweat and sand can remove the protective effects of the mask.
Who also has doubts about this obligation is the family doctor and former president of the Portuguese Association of General and Family Medicine, Rui Nogueira, who, in a telephone call with the i, released, as soon as we explained the theme of this article, one: “Que nonsense”.
“There is no justification for wearing a mask on the beach, what really matters is respecting the safety distance of people who are not part of our bubble, that is, members of the household or those with whom we have daily contact, such as co-workers. ”, Explains the doctor, who adds that places like terraces or supermarkets are more dangerous than spaces like the beach.
“When we go to places like supermarkets and we have to be in contact with other people, it makes sense to wear a mask, not only because it is a closed environment, but there is also a greater possibility of concentration of viruses in the air, but on the beach it is not the In this case, there are not even metallic surfaces, I think it is much more dangerous to be on an esplanade ”, he confesses.
“It is questionable whether people can be at the same table without a mask, because they are eating food or drinks that are not from the same usual contact group, and even though they belong to this group, it is a risk that is at risk,” he explains. “Gathering people on a terrace is much worse than on the beach, even if it is outdoors, people are closer than on the beach, where they can spread without problems. The security perimeter, which is important to maintain and respect, seems more useful than the use of the mask ”, says Rui Nogueira.
Asked if a more drastic measure, such as closing the beaches, would be a safer way to guarantee a break in the transmission of covid-19, the doctor refuted this theory, ensuring that, if the safety distance is respected, there should not be any kind of problem.
“Close the beaches, no way, there should be limited person entry if there is an excess that prevents the existence of a security perimeter between the groups, but that is all”, explains the doctor, recalling the traffic light system that was implemented on Portuguese beaches last year. “Closing the beaches would be nonsense,” he concluded.