Face masks reduced again to maximum of 62 cents

Updated 21 November: And they’ve been reduced again. The maximum price anyone can be charged for a surgical mask is 0,62€, law is HERE.

Updated 16 November: From tomorrow, surgical/disposable face masks will have a maximum price of €0,72 instead of €0,96. The reduction is the result of a new decree published today in the BOE HERE, Sanidad (Spain) has announced, explaining that the price reduction is intended to guarantee access to masks for all as a basic preventative measure. The rules for face masks are detailed at the top of the Living with Covid post HERE.

Updated 27 October: With the return of British visitors it seems a good time to update this post about masks. Please also note that in addition to the information below, it has since been confirmed that while Fabric masks are legal, anyone attending a hospital or doctor’s surgery must wear one of the types below, specifically of the hygenic or surgical type from a chemist or sanitary provisions supplier.

The Policía Nacional has confirmed that they are policing this as a requirement to wear a mask in all public spaces, indoors and out, at work, and on the beach and around swimming pools – if swimming they can be removed for swimming itself or sunbathing without moving in a designated zone. In catering establishments they can be removed when a plate of food is in front of a customer because eating a meal is a one-off thing. Drinking, however, is different because people can nurse one drink for far longer and so the police say they will issue fines to anyone doig so. They have specifically said that masks must be replaced between sips of a drink.

Exemptions exist but must be verified in Spanish: the verifiying is done by police on the spot and they cannot be expected to know English or be able to identify the authenticity of a foreign document. A medical certificate from a Spanish doctor is required for anyone with a condition that allows them to be exempt from wearing a mask. Please note that face shields are not considered masks: they are sometimes worn by medical personnel in addition to a mask but are not legal for the public to wear as an alternative.

Original post 16 June: Canarias Saludable, the Canarian Health Department’s channel for public health information and advice, has confirmed that the public can wear home-made face masks but only if they comply with the specifications of those which are bought in chemists. For those who wish to make their own, those specifications, for each type of mask, are HERE.

Canarias Saludable says that “scarves and facecloths do not protect against covid19, and that more information in general about masks, apart from the specific criteria for their manufacture, can be consulted HERE. For any further public health information please see their website which is canariasaludable.org.

For those who wish to buy face masks that are guaranteed to comply with specifications, the image below shows the three main types available. The first is a simple hygienic mask, the sort we should wear if healthy and not working frontline or in the health services. The second is a surgical mask to be worn by anyone displaying symptoms or their close contacts – all these should also be self-isolating and seeking medical confirmation of their infection. The third is an auto-filter mask to be worn by health professionals and frontline workers.


  1. Hi Janet,
    where can I get info regarding private libraries?
    Are they to adhere to the same strict regulations as
    public libraries?
    The library in question is closed until further notice (????)
    In these times it is so important to be able to read, without having to spend a lot of money on new books.
    Thank you,

  2. When I ask councillors about reporting incidents (large public parties without social distancing etc) the advice I am told to pass on to people is to call 112 directly – as the central control will get the nearest patrol to the spot asap.
    The thought that bars think that having lookouts for the police is reassuring is so disgusting and worrying – will they also provide lookouts for the ambulances when they are needed.

  3. Chris, that was my concern. How come Tenerife figures are up by 12? I accept what janet says about parties on other islands and have read about them, but there seems to be no explanation for the extra numbers in Tenerife. I know it is what it is. but is concerning. Another trip out today and left one establishment immediately as tables crowded together, no masks, even by staff and when we asked them, they said we have lookouts for police. Other places are putting videos and pics on FB showing people dancing at tables and singing. I just give up. No I am not a party pooper, I just want the police to enforce it. The police inform the offenders of who has made the report so that’s going to encourage people isn’t it? Not! Months of responsible behaviour and now we get this. Just so depressing

  4. Hi Janet. When they say “there are authorities to which you can go if you see any establishments or individuals involved in obvious irregularities.” are there details of who these authorities are and how to best contact them or are they simply refering to the police?

    1. Author

      Police and councils … speak to the establishment in the first place, if they’ll enforce, all well and good, problem solved. If they won’t enforce, call the police about the particular incident and then report the establishment to the council which will have licensed it in some way. Obviously photos and details will help in both cases.

      Re the police, grab a policía local if there are any about, or call 062 or 091 for Guardia Civil and Policía Nacional if there aren’t any local police around. And of course 112 if it’s an emergency.

  5. Do the pateras get as far as Tenerife? Because the number of cases there seem to have risen by 12 in the last week.

    1. Author

      Yes, they get here but we haven’t had any arrive here for some weeks now. Please understand that I stopped reporting island by island numbers, and before that local figures, because they are notoriously unreliable … and there is variation between cases actually in Tenerife and those where the declaration was made in Tenerife but the case is not here.

      I repeat that all cases are known and controlled, tracing and tracking is undertaken even without the app that is being piloted in La Gomera presently. If there is a wider outbreak it will be reported.

      Please can we move any future discussions of numbers to THIS post which is dedicated to the matter. This post is about face masks.

  6. I think the increase in numbers is being reported Mary. Janets own figures seem to reflect that. I have only heard of one new case recorded as being a tourist. Think it was a Brit who proved positive on arrival in Lanzarote but I may be wrong. If true, it’s good news in a way because it demonstates that current systems will detect some who have the virus. However, my primary concern is those tourists that have covid but show no symptoms (asymptomatic) on arrival. As far as new cases in general are cocerned we will continue to see that happen with or without tourists. It’s the nature of the beast ….. the virus can never be eradicated even if vaccines are developed.

  7. There have been 12 new cases of the virus in the Canaries in the last week. How come this isn’t making the news? After months of figures continuing to decrease, they are now on the rise again. And it seems these are nothing to do with those people who were diagnosed after arriving on pateras. There was much hoo ha when the virus arrived on Tenerife but it seems as though new cases are of no interest now. Only tourism is important. i hope i am wrong

    1. Author

      They are in fact mainly connected with those who arrived on pateras. One of the other cases is a British tourist in Lanzarote, another two mini-outbreaks are the result of parties – one in GC and the other in Fte, one associated with a family visitor from Mexico. But in the main it’s the pateras. The reason they’re not making the news individually is because they’re known and contained, and don’t represent a “generalised risk”. If it starts spreading uncontainably, believe me we’ll be shouting about it.

  8. we are resident in Tenerife for 39 years and lived in Palm mar permenantly but this last 10 years have been invaded by autocaravans it is a residential area with no sanidad we have app 300 names and 2 denounciations we are very afraid as they empty the sewage on the ground at the pavement we have spoken to the chief of police in aroma and have been waiting since last December 2019 for an appointment with the mayor of arona the people in these caravans do not wear masks they are not keeping distances please help us my husband is 84 years and I have 82 years we are fit but very worried we cannot understand why this is allowed thanking you ps I do speak Spanish but a bit difficult to write

    1. Author

      I’m afraid that all you can do is keep up the pressure on the council … there has been quite a lot going on in the governing group lately so their priorities are political and personal, sadly … and meanwhile call the police whenever any such behaviour is observed. Also get a pressure group together to lobby the council, and if necessary, engage legal professionals to take the case up with the council as well.

  9. Excellent news Janet, thank you. Let’s hope they follow through.

  10. Please, no tourists, they do what they like. I see this every day and night. Stone drunk, calling and ranting. Guess where they come from. No police. Barcelona is preparing for a new lockdown.

  11. I’ve seen the same Mary …. staff becoming lax regarding masks. Maybe they don’t want to scare of customers. Who knows but if this trend continues we can almost guarantee further outbreaks. I also fear that there may be a reluctance from those in office to persue those flouting rules for the same reason. After all, they know the island needs tourism. A bit like Larry Vaughn, the obdurate mayor of Amity, in Jaws. Thing is, it will be all of us here left on the island who will pay the consequences after the tourists have long gone. Maybe there should be local contact centres where the public can complain about breaches that we see.

  12. I agree with Ray in that the president is wating to see if any action needs to be taken. However, I went into Las Galletas today and met the first group of tourists I have seen in weeks. 12 of them, not a mask in sight even though the streets were quite busy. No way could you socially distance. people were stopping to stare but the tourists were oblivious. No police in sight. It worried me. If we get put back in lockdown it will be very unfair as it is unlikely to be us that have been flouting the rules as most of us have all been very responsible throughout lockdown. Having said that, we have noticed more and more cafes and bars are being lax about staff wearing masks particularly in areas where tourists are are likely to be very shortly. No mask when serving, inside or out, What exactly can we do, except leave?

  13. A sensible decision which avoids an unnecessary imposition ……. in my opinion. Let’s hope residents and visitors do the right thing and abide by all current restrictions and that we see adequate police numbers on the streets to enforce those restrictions where and when necessary.

  14. Thanks for all the info you’re providing.
    With regards to home-made face mask, and Spanish Gov requirements, is there a translation anywhere as to which fabrics are allowed etc.
    My wife and I have made several for ourselves and family, but don’t know if they will be allowed in Tenerife.

    1. Author

      The links to the specifications are above but I’m not aware of a translation, I’m afraid.

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