The Sonora Congress has approved a law that makes the use of face masks mandatory in public places although it doesn’t establish any penalties against people who fail to do so.
A majority of lawmakers in the northern state’s unicameral Congress passed the law on Tuesday.
The original bill presented by Morena party Deputy Luis Armando Colosio Muñoz proposed sanctions that included fines for people not wearing masks in public places.
The bill that was approved states that face masks are obligatory for all people aged 13 or over when in public and “common use” spaces. They include commercial, service and industrial establishments – namely shops, offices and factories – all other workplaces, shopping malls and public transit. Entry can be denied to anyone not wearing a mask without a valid reason.
People who may have difficulties breathing while using a mask and those who are unable to remove one on their own are exempt from the law. If children younger than 12 wear masks, they must be supervised by adults while doing so.
The law also stipulates that businesses must establish a health checkpoint at their entrances where customers are provided with antibacterial gel and have their temperatures taken. Businesses must also put up signs that indicate that the use of face masks is a condition of entry.
The law will take effect one day after its publication in the state government’s official gazette. That could happen as soon as today.
Authorities in many other states have made the use of face masks mandatory but most have done so via governors’ decrees rather than through the Congress.
The federal government last week ruled out any possibility of an enforceable nationwide mask mandate despite the heavy toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on Mexico.
The accumulated case tally rose to 938,405 on Tuesday with 5,250 new cases reported by the federal Health Ministry. Mexico’s official Covid-19 death toll stands at 92,593 with 493 additional fatalities registered on Tuesday.
Sonora ranks fifth among Mexico’s 32 states for total cases and 10th for deaths. As of Tuesday, it had recorded 38,482 cases and 3,174 deaths, according to federal data.
Source: Reforma (sp)