The mandatory use of a community protection mask applies in all public spaces explained the regional secretary for Health, Pedro Ramos, stressing that “all types of public spaces are included, closed or open”.

The minister was speaking at a press conference to announce new measures to be implemented in the region, in the context of combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pedro Ramos said that the obligation to wear a mask does, however, have exceptions.

Children up to 10 years of age, “people who have difficulty putting on or removing the mask without assistance” and “other situations previously identified by health authorities” are not covered by the measure.

The latest data released by the Institute of Health Administration (IASAÚDE) at the time of going to press, showed that Madeira had recorded a total of 105 cases of Covid-19, eight of which are still active.

The mandatory use of a mask in all public spaces takes effect on 1 August, coinciding with the beginning of the extension of the state of calamity in the archipelago.

Pedro Ramos explained that the legal framework for this measure relates to the need to “protect public health”, however he did not specify on what law it is based.

The government official said that the inspection will be the responsibility of the security forces and the Regional Economic Activities Authority (ARAE).

“We do not anticipate having to issue fines, because we think this measure is more proactive”, he stressed, reinforcing that it meets the “culture of rigor” of the Regional Government, of PSD / CDS-PP coalition, in addressing the pandemic .

In April, the executive recommended the use of a mask by everyone, but indicated that its use by the general population would not be mandatory because that “would require new legislation”.

The regional secretary for Health and Civil Protection did not mention any legislative changes, but stressed the importance of the executive’s new determination and called for the “responsibility” of everyone in maintaining public health.

“The use of a community mask in all spaces becomes mandatory as an additional form of protection for the population in the region”, he said, reinforcing: “We are one of the safest regions in the world and, as such, we must adopt good practices of individual and collective protection.

“If we all collaborate, we will all win. Tourism wins, the regional economy wins, public health wins”, he stressed.