Rules On Face Masks For Tourists In Europe

Face masks will be compulsory in shops from the 24 July, failing to comply will mean you could face a £100 fine. However, what are the rules on face masks if you’re a tourist in Europe? Well, if you’re a visitor you still need to comply with local rules.

Wearing one or not has been a highly contentious subject, with people feeling very passionate about not wearing one. We think “prevention is better than cure”, so will do our best to stop the spread of this deadly virus where needed. Regardless of which side of the argument you’re on, be sure to understand what the rules are surrounding the use of face masks. If you don’t, it might result in a hefty fine.

In this blog, we list the requirements for wearing face masks if you’re visiting some countries in Europe.

As countries open up, many are still requiring you to abide by self-quarantine rules. Be sure to check our post on which countries are open to UK travel.

CountryPublic transportShops/small spaceOutsideFines
✅ compulsory in


Face coverings/masks are required in certain situations in France. It is mandatory for anyone over the age of 11 and must be worn on public transport (includes taxis and while you’re at the airport). The French government is expected to make wearing face masks compulsory in all enclosed public places in the coming weeks. At the moment, you are encouraged to wear face masks as much as possible when outside.


The rules for wearing a face mak/covering is decided by the individual states in Germany. As a general rule of thumb, face masks are compulsory on public transport. It is also compulsory for you to wear a face mask in confined spaces (e.g. inside shops)


Face coverings/masks are mandatory on public transport, which includes taxis and buses. The rules of having to wear face coverings have been relaxed for shops and supermarkets. It is not compulsory to wear a mask in public spaces.


The Italian authorities have made wearing a face mask mandatory on public transport. The same rules apply for enclosed places. You are now required to wear a mask in public from 6pm to 6am. Failing to do so can result in €1,000 fine. If you are in Lombardy, it is illegal for you to walk outside without a mask.


Face coverings/masks are mandatory for anyone visiting Spain over the age of 6 years old. Unlike the UK, you are required to wear a mask on the street and in public places (if a 2-metre social distance cannot be maintained). The Spanish government has progressively introduced stricter rules regarding the use of face coverings, which also includes beaches on the Costa del Sol. If you fail to comply, you will be fined £90. This is true for any outdoor gatherings where it’s busy or if you are in a group of six or more.

The rules are slightly different in other parts of Spain. In general, you are expected to wear face-coverings if you visit Spain. Be sure to check what the rules are, as you don’t want to be fined. Most importantly, you don’t want to be unknowingly passing on the disease.

United Kingdom

The UK has allowed the decision of whether a mask is required to the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The rules are slightly different in each area. In general, it is compulsory to wear a face mask/covering on all public transport in the UK. From the 24 July, everyone is required to wear a face mask in confined spaces (e.g. shops, collecting take aways, etc…) in England. It’s likely Scotland will apply the same rules with Wales taking a different approach. Failing to comply can result in a £100 fine. In September the UK government imposed stricter rules around the use of face masks, including in restaurants and pubs – you can only take it off when eating or drinking.

Do Your Research

Be sure to check the rules for wearing face masks if you’re visiting Europe this summer. While we’ve made every effort to ensure we’ve presented accurate information, the situation is changing continually. We, therefore, recommend you check directly

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