Holidaymakers should wear masks at all times as part of the ‘new normal’, say travel companies

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HOLIDAYMAKERS are being urged by the world’s largest travel companies to wear face masks on the beach and by the pool as part of the ‘new normal’.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is urging tourists to wear masks virtually at all times to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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Face coverings should be on the packing list for holidays and when it’s impossible to keep a two-metre gap between sunbathers, a mask should be worn, the companies have said.

WTTC also recommends that it is mandatory to wear masks in airports, hotels, nightclubs, museums, gyms and all other indoor venues.

The new guidelines come as thousands of Brits head off on their long-awaited holidays today as part of the first day of the new air bridge scheme.

As of today, holidaymakers are allowed to visit 59 countries and 14 British territories without having to undergo a 14-day quarantine on their return.

Catalonia has already tightened up the rules on their use and the Balearic Islands will follow suit from Monday, making them obligatory in public at all times – although beaches in Brit hotspots Majorca and Ibiza have been exempted.

The changes in rules will make masks obligatory in top destinations whenever holidaymakers leave their hotel rooms.

This afternoon the president of the Andalucian regional government which covers the Costa del Sol area said the same rules may have to be applied in southern Spain.

Juanma Moreno, speaking during a visit to Guadix, near Granada, was asked if Andalucia could go to the way of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

He replied: “We haven’t ruled it out and we are going to be very watchful of the spread of the virus.

“We’re going to see how it develops and we will take a decision based on that.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s not an idea we can reject given what we’re seeing in terms of the spread of the virus in some parts of Spain, including Catalonia.”

Government officials from the Balearic Islands announced last night it was to make face masks compulsory in public spaces outdoors – even when social distancing could be guaranteed.

It became the second regional government in Spain after the Catalan government to reinforce their use in public.

However, sunbathers won’t have to wear them on seafronts in places like Magaluf and San Antonio after beaches were exempted from the order.

They also won’t have to be worn around hotel pools.

A spokesman for the Balearic Island government’s health department said: “The new resolution establishes the obligatory use of face masks in public and in buildings of public use or public service areas.

“The exceptions are swimming pools, beaches and restaurants or bars at the moment people are eating or drinking.”

The rules will come into force on Monday.

Anyone who flouts the new regulation can be fined.

Up until now, face masks across Spain have only been obligatory in closed public spaces like shops, as well as public spaces outdoors where social distancing of five feet can’t be guaranteed.

People playing sport and children under six will continue to be allowed to go without face masks across Spain.

Those who share the same roof will also continue to be allowed to take off their face masks to travel by car.

This means a British family who hire a rental vehicle will not face any action if they are stopped for not covering up their noses and mouths while they are on the road.

The rule changes on face masks in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands come on the back of local lockdowns after new outbreaks in La Marina, north of Lugo in Galicia, and the Segria region of Lleida province, near Barcelona.

The lockdowns, which have led to police closing down the regions to outsiders, have affected around 300,000 people.

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