Use of Facemasks Now Mandatory in Public Spaces

Use of Facemasks Now Mandatory in Public Spaces

By Jesús Aguado

On May 3 the Holy Cross is celebrated. It is also the day construction workers celebrate projects with plenty of food, music, and especially, alcohol. This year, though, the feast was different: the city government prohibited the sale of alcohol from May 1, and made wearing facemasks mandatory for Sanmiguelenses and anybody in public spaces.

At a city council meeting on April 30, city councilors, Mayor Luis Alberto Villarreal, and City Attorney Verónica Agundis approved the new measures to enhance prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus in San Miguel. Those who do not comply will be taken to the municipal jail for 36 hours or pay a fine up to 8,600 pesos.

In the meeting it was agreed that the restrictions will remain in place until May 30, although some could be reduced on May 18 if the Federal Secretariat of Public Health decrees that San Miguel is a zone of few cases and low transmission.

On May 1, city employees from the Secretariat of Public Safety took to the streets of Centro and handed out four thousand face masks to those not using one. Days before, the Secretariat received a donation from Oxxo stores of 10 thousand face masks.

The restrictions are as follow:

– The use of a face mask is mandatory in any public space of essential gathering, such as public transportation, streets, public markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, banks, etc.

– The restrictions are in place until May 30, 2020 (including the suspension of nonessential activities).

– If the Federal Secretariat of Public Health decrees that San Miguel qualifies as a city or zone of low transmission, some restrictions will be reduced on May 18, 2020.

– The city government has the duty of supervising the fulfillment of sanitary restrictions.

– Fines can apply to private parties and gatherings, since they pose a risk for spreading the virus, and are considered a public health risk.

-Penalties apply to those who do not comply with the new restrictions. They range from a 36-hour arrest to a fine of 8,600 pesos. If the same person ignores the restrictions a second time, the fine or penalty will be doubled.

– The penalties can include closing commercial buildings.