European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure ES-2022-17/2295 – measures in Spain

Modification of the use of masks against COVID-19

Modificación del uso de las mascarillas contra la COVID-19 (Real Decreto 286/2022)

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 20 April 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Measure added 17 May 2022 (updated 21 June 2022)

Background information

The favourable evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic, favoured by the vaccination coverage achieved in Spain and by the application of non-pharmacological measures to control the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by the population until March 2022, made it possible to consider modifications to the epidemic control strategies. The main epidemic monitoring indicators in force, according to the COVID-19 Surveillance and Control Strategy after the acute phase of the pandemic, were at a low risk level in most of the Spanish territory in April 2022.

Content of measure

Royal Decree 286/2022, of 19 April, regulates the use of face masks indoors, moving from the mandatory use in all types of interior places to the use only in certain specific places. Specifically, and as of 20 April, it is established that the mask continues to be obligatory in health centres, services and establishments; in socio-health centres and homes for the elderly; and in means of transport. In the rest of places, it is no longer compulsory.

Thus, in the workplace, the use of masks is not generally required. However, those responsible for occupational risk prevention, in accordance with the corresponding risk assessment of the workplace, may determine the appropriate preventive measures to be implemented, including the possible use of masks. The ‘Action Procedure for Occupational Risk Prevention Services’ takes into account assessment criteria such as the activity of the workplace, adequate ventilation, occupancy level or the 1.5 meter distance. This Action Procedures serves as a guide, a reference for public or private workplaces, which establishes the specific risks of each workplace. Depending on all these variables, risk professionals will have to conclude whether there are legal arguments to impose masks, now that they are no longer compulsory as a general rule.

Use of measure

This measure applies to all people in the Spanish territory.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

No involvement by social partners in this measure.

Views and reactions

Social partners respect the approved regulation and follow the recommendations made by health prevention services. Social partners are clearly involved in mechanisms related to employment protection, economic support for companies, workers and the unemployed, measures against the economic and social crisis, etc., but they do not interfere in health decisions.

Sources

  • 19 April 2022: La Moncloa. Presidency of the Government. Agreements and regulations Real Decreto 286/2022 (www.lamoncloa.gob.es)
  • 19 May 2022: BOE, Spanish State Official Gazette, Real Decreto 286/2022, de 19 de abril, por el que se modifica la obligatoriedad del uso de mascarillas durante la situación de crisis sanitaria ocasionada por la COVID-19 (www.boe.es)

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Modification of the use of masks against COVID-19, measure ES-2022-17/2295 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/ES-2022-17_2295.html

Share

Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

12 September 2022

 

First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Article

12 September 2022

 

Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.

5 July 2022

 

Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.

Article

16 June 2022

 

Back to work after COVID-19: Testing, vaccines and green certificates

In the second pandemic year 2021, access to one's place of work was increasingly dependent on providing proof of either having been tested, vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in several countries.

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.