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Jumping the Gun!

Paulo Otero, a Law Professor at the Lisbon University Faculty of Law, categorically stated that the ‘mandatory use of masks along Madeira’s public roads’ can only be determined by the Assembly of the Republic.  He also pointed out that the only time masks could become mandatory is during a ‘State of Emergency’, a situation Madeira has not yet declared, although the island is under a ‘State of Calamity’. But even this does not support the widespread mandatory use of masks in all outside spaces.  Their use can be recommended but cannot be imposed.

In response to this, the Regional Government believes they do not require a legal basis in order to impose their new ruling, a decision taken to protect public health.

Even the Director-General for Health (DGS) in Portugal has dipped its toes into the mandatory mask wearing pool. When asked for their opinion, the DGS hummed and hawed saying that virus’s in aerosols needed further examination as they can be infectious or non-infectious, and that cross contamination is of course greater in enclosed spaces. And according to officials, these viruses “have a tendency to concentrate, to become well developed, to be a greater hazard in an enclosed environment where optimum temperatures and humidity are more likely to occur.”

The DGS went on to say that “based on these circumstances and expert advice their recommendations on mask use is mainly intended for closed environments where it is not possible to guarantee separation distances, and where there are large concentrations of people in an area with inadequate temperature controls.

Earlier today, two Spanish regions, Galicia and Castile-Leon, brought in measures  for the mandatory use of masks whether citizens are in enclosed or open spaces.

Samantha Gannon

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