The government have decided to make the wearing of masks compulsory in public places as from midnight tonight Wednesday 20th May 2020.

According to the health ministry, the use of scarves, bandannas or shawls as masks will not be permitted.

But, as ever, there are certain exceptions and stipulations to the controversial new ruling.

Children under six will not be forced to don the protective gear, even if the two-metre ‘safety distance’ cannot be guaranteed. However, the health ministry has ‘recommended’ that children between the ages of three and five wear the PPE if possible.

The new order dictates that masks must be worn in shared indoor and outdoor spaces where it is not possible to maintain a distance of two metres between one another.

They must also be worn on all public transport, a rule which had already come into force earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the government has not warned of sanctions or fines if you are caught without wearing one. Yet legal experts believe people will be subject to the so-called ‘gag law’, meaning possible fines of between €100 to €600 for minor breaches.

There are also several other exceptions to the rule. These include people who have ‘some form of respiratory condition that may be aggravated by the use of a mask’ or individuals for whom ‘the use of a mask is not feasible due to justified health reasons or owing to a disability.’

Additionally, you can do away with your mask if it is ‘incompatible’ with an activity you are practising, i.e. running, jogging, cycling.

You can also remove your mask in ’emergency’ scenarios or if it is ‘absolutely necessary.’

The BOE order says it can be any type of mask however, ‘preferably hygienic and surgical, that covers the nose and mouth.’

That’s all for this email – stay safe and preferably, stay at home unless you have to go out