In a statement the President of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, stated that he understands that wearing a mask “is boring,” but considers their use is essential as part of the drive to prevent the spread of Covid-19. He assured journalists that this decision was made in the full knowledge that it would create controversy, but that it was better to be over-zealous than negligent and incompetent, especially where peoples lives are concerned.
Referring to the backlash against the new ruling by some sectors of the community and the recent comments by ex-president Alberto João Jardim on the illegality of forcing the population to wear masks, the President insisted that the move was well thought out and that his and his governments overriding aim is to safeguard the lives of the islands population. “The pandemic” he stressed is “reaching alarming levels in countries such as Spain, France and Germany” and it is essential adequate controls are in place on the island as visitors from these countries will travel to Madeira and be welcome here.
“I do not believe individuals will cancel their holidays to Madeira because we insist on masks being worn or that this action will stop other people coming to Madeira. It is a little boring, but it is better to suffer a little inconvenience than risk a pandemic on the island which could very easily run out of control.”
The President concluded by saying that the “situation is going to change substantially in the next two months. Schools and childcare centres will open during the first half of September, and the region expects to receive 70 thousand tourists in August and 80 thousand in September. Hence the need to safeguard both the islands population and all who visit Madeira. ”
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