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Masks Use is NOT Mandatory

The widespread use of masks will not be mandatory, but recommended. According to a response from the President’s office, Madeira’s President, Miguel Albuquerque, said that the use of masks by the general population is not mandatory due to ‘legislative requirements.’  However, he recommends that everyone uses masks.

Last week, Miguel Albuquerque admitted that “at a later stage,” when restrictions are lifted gradually, he could think of a scenario where the wearing of masks is mandatory.  His comments were further endorsed on Friday (10th), when Health Secretary, Pedro Ramos, said that the 250,000 masks ordered by the government would be distributed starting this week, via CTT, and their use would be mandatory.

On Monday, Miguel Albuquerque said that the Regional Government would start distributing the masks at the end of this week, with the delivery of two units per household, covering about 200 thousand people.

During a video conference, the government said that within certain professions, the use would be mandatory. The use of masks is also being used as a carrot to encourage a possible progressive resumption of the island’s economic activities, with officials stating that necessary mask use will determine the reopening of companies an initiate a ‘positive evolution’ of the region’s pandemic situation.

Miguel Albuquerque stressed that in professions where contact between people is more significant and constant, such as construction, mandatory use of a mask could be decreed.

Miguel Albuquerque pointed out that the initiative is based on “scientific studies” and “examples from other countries”, which “strongly recommend” the use of protective masks by the general population and at the end of this week, washable and reusable face masks will be distributed by CTT agents.

According to the 2011 Census, there are 267,785 people living in the region.

Samantha Gannon

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