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Health authorities have announced that from 1st June, people who do not wear a mask on the beach will not be fined.

A much contested statement by the health authorities that masks must be worn on beaches, including in the water, unless the individual is doing strenuous activity, has been withdrawn, with Minister for Health Chris Fearne clarifying that the rule will not be enforceable on beaches.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning announcing more steps in the gradual reopening of the economy, Minister Fearne said that he acknowledged the controversy that arose from the rule.

He said that the use of masks now will permit the country to remove restrictions on other activities more quickly.

However, he said that the rules must be practical, and after discussions with the experts, it is clear that wet masks are not effective.

Therefore, while it is still recommended to wear a mask everywhere, it is not enforceable, although he pointed out that it remains in the individual’s interest to protect themselves.

Minister Fearne added that the measure stipulating the use of masks in public places will be eased in future provided the numbers of COVID-19 cases remain low.

The exemption on mask wearing on beaches will be effective from 1st June, in time for the reopening for tourism.

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