Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Use of face masks declared mandatory in at least 11 states, Mexico City

As part of efforts to reduce Covid-19 transmission, governments in at least 11 states and Mexico City have made the use of face masks mandatory either in all public places or in certain locations.

Starting Friday, all Mexico City Metro passengers must wear masks while inside stations and on trains, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced on Wednesday.

To support the measure, Metro workers will distribute 1 million masks free of charge to passengers at the Pantitlán station. Located in the capital’s east, the station is the busiest in the system during peak hours. Sheinbaum said that city officials will also distribute free masks at most other stations.

In Puebla, Governor Miguel Ángel Barbosa signed a decree stipulating that face masks must be worn in public places. The order took effect on Monday and is being supported by state authorities who are distributing thousands of masks. Despite the decree, people who don’t wear masks while outside will not face sanctions.

State authorities in Tamaulipas, Oaxaca, Durango, Coahuila, Quintana Roo and Yucatán have also ordered the obligatory use of masks by citizens when they are outside their homes. Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat said that people who don’t comply could be fined or face other sanctions.

A Metro train wears a face mask in this meme tweeted by Mayor Sheinbaum.
A Metro train wears a face mask in this meme tweeted by Mayor Sheinbaum.

In Nuevo León, people won’t be allowed to board public transit if they are not wearing a mask and their use has also been made obligatory in taxis and private vehicles providing ride share services via companies such as Uber. State Health Minister Manuel de la O Cavazos said that those providing transportation services who don’t uphold the rule will be sanctioned.

In Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero, city authorities have made the use of masks mandatory in markets, supermarkets, department stores and public transit, while in León, Guanajuato, citizens must wear them in all public places.

The use of masks is also compulsory for all citizens in Cuernavaca, Morelos, when they are not in their homes, while senior citizens, pregnant women, children and people with respiratory diseases who live in other parts of the state must wear them while outside.

While millions of Mexicans have now been told to wear masks by their local authorities, it appears unlikely that the federal government will make their use in public mandatory across the country. Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said last week that there is no solid scientific evidence that the widespread use of masks will help to limit the spread of Covid-19.

He said earlier this month that people can be lulled into a “false sense of security” while wearing masks, believing that they are not susceptible to infection when in fact they are.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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