Barcelona is to become the first major Spanish city to bar the use of face-covering Islamic veils in municipal buildings.
City Mayor Jordi Hereu announced the measure Monday but insisted it was not specifically religious. He says it is aimed at all dress that impedes identification, and thus includes motorcycle helmets and ski masks.
Lleida, also in the Spanish region of Catalonia, last month became the first Spanish city to regulate use of body-covering burqas or face-covering niqab garments.
Barcelona town hall said the measure was largely symbolic given that it is unusual to see women wearing burqas or niqabs in the city, which has a population of 1.5 million.
See also Reuters, which reports that a Partido Popular councillor has complained that the ban does not go far enough: “The mayoral decree is a half-measure, because as well as forbidding the burqa and niqab in public installations, it is necessary to forbid it on the street.”