MADRID — Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region will make mandatory the use of masks outdoors even when social distancing is maintained.
Regional chief Quim Torra says the measure will be implemented from Thursday following outbreaks in and around the city of Lleida that have led to the lockdown of more than 200,000 residents since Saturday.
Some 500 infections in Lleida have so far been linked to the summer fruit harvest, which attracts many migrant laborers.
Spain has made masks mandatory in shared indoor spaces and also outdoors when a social distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) can’t be kept. Catalonia, population 7.5 million, is the first region to mandate the use of masks regardless of distancing.
Nationwide there have been 118 small outbreaks since May 11, 67 of them currently active. Spain has had 252,130 confirmed infections and at least 28,300 people have died.