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This is how independence celebrations normally look in Querétaro. This is how independence celebrations normally look in Querétaro. As in most states, they were canceled this year.

Organizers of parties where Covid infection occurs subject to 12 years in jail

Changes to the law were made in preparation for independence celebrations

Anyone who hosts a party in Querétaro where someone becomes infected with the coronavirus will be charged with the crime of “risk of contagion” and subject to up to 12 years in prison.

Government Secretary Juan Martín Granados Torres made the announcement Tuesday as a staunch reminder to those who were contemplating celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day holiday with friends in mass gatherings. 

“If indeed a person, in the normal period established by medicine, tests positive for Covid and the doctors establish that that was the place of infection, then the person responsible for any meeting or any concentration of people could incur the crime of risk of contagion sanctioned by our penal code,” he said.

The law states that “those who, knowing that they suffer from a serious illness in an infectious period, without the victim or offended person being aware of this circumstance, endanger the health of another, through sexual relations or another transmissible medium will be imposed the penalties provided for the crime of injury.” Exceptions include spouses and common-law partners.

Penalties range from three months to 12 years in prison, depending on the severity of the circumstances.

The Ministry of Health made the modifications to the law on September 11, when it announced the suspension of Independence Day celebrations in the state and suggested that municipal governments apply necessary measures to avoid contagion. 

Granados said he hopes the severe penalties will act as a deterrent in the state, where businesses selling alcohol, including restaurants, were ordered to close at 6 p.m. yesterday and today to avoid crowds of patriotic revelers.

“It is not strictly speaking a dry law but a regulation in terms of limiting the hours of sale and consumption in the establishments that I have referred to because this situation is potentially generating behavior in citizens that can provoke and activate or encourage greater contagion,” Granados stated.

Authorities will be especially vigilant in border areas of the state where police will break up parties, Granados said.

As of Tuesday, Querétaro had recorded 7,784 accumulated cases of the coronavirus and 891 deaths. 

Source: El Universal (sp)

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