The President of the Junta de Andalucía (Andalusian Regional Government), Juanma Moreno, has insisted on the need to reduce the spread of COVID19 via the compulsory use facemasks, and has announced sanctions for those who do not comply.
The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, announced on Monday (13.07.2020) that the use of facemasks will become mandatory, in open and enclosed spaces, throughout the region of Andalucía as of this Wednesday, July 15. Non-compliance with the new regulations will incur sanctions which the Government Council will set out this Tuesday.
At a press conference at the Public University Forum in San Telmo, Moreno highlighted that “we are in the middle of a terrible pandemic”, which requires “extreme precautions in Andalucía”, which is why the medical advisor to the Junta de Andalucía “has decided to make mandatory the use of facemasks, intensively and extensively, throughout Andalucía”.
The head of the regional government has explained that he has used the word “extensive” because it encompasses the entire are of the region and all its citizens, while “intensive” refers to the fact that the use of facemasks will be compulsory “both in open and enclosed spaces”.
“We will have to get used to it from now on, despite the fact that wearing facemasks at all times will brings difficulties in the heat,” Moreno stated, stressing that this obligation will be in addition to social distancing, which he said must always be maintained as much as possible, “and with the exception of family units.”
He specified that the measure will be come into effect as from “this Wednesday at 00.00”, and that the meeting of the Governing Council is to be held this Tuesday to approve a package of preventive measures that will accompany the compulsory use of facemasks.
Moreno has also stated that citizens who do not take on this responsibility, and endanger both their own health and that of others by not wearing the mask, “will be sanctioned with actions that we are currently considering, and which we will approve at the Governing Council.”
Moreno is Advised that Facemasks Reduce the Risk of Contagion to 1%
According to the Andalusian president, experts have said that the risk of contagion is reduced to 1% between two people when wearing facemasks. “We have to reduce the risk of contagion in Andalusia and the rest of Spain, and if we need to wear a mask for that, we will wear it,” Moreno stressed, insisting that “we will take all the necessary measures, because prevention is better than cure.”
In general terms, the President of the Junta has emphasized that Covid19 “has not disappeared” and, according to the WHO, “we are at the equator of the great battle in which all countries are immersed”, and has recalled that “every day hundreds of thousands are infectioned, and tens of thousands of people die.”
Likewise, they have pointed to increasing incidents of outbreaks in Andalusia when the “necessary” freedom of movement between territories was reinstated, and has said that that since this is the most populated region in Spain, and, therefore, “it was foreseeable that we would have had more outbreaks than anyone else.” “Despite these outbreaks, many of which have occurred within family units, the incidents at hospitals are neither alarming nor worrying, and fortunately the number of hospitalized patients continue to decline,” he explained.
However, the head of the Andalusian Executive has pointed to the situation in Catalonia, where several municipalities have been locked down due to COVID19 outbreaks, to justify making facemasks mandatory. He pointed out the good relations between Andalusia and Catalonia and that “almost a million Catalans of Andalusian origin” should return to this region in the summer.
Appeal to individual responsibility
“We cannot go back to ground zero, we cannot stop the economy, we cannot see thousands die, we cannot take steps backwards, to the stage of suffering, and unfortunately we do not have effective treatment or a vaccination, we only have one instrument: individual responsibility to protect ourselves and others,” Juanma Moreno said, and he asked Andalusians to set an example of responsibility and common sense by wearing a facemask permanently, using hand sanitisers and maintaining a social distance of 1.5 meters.
He has assured that, if people comply, “the virus will have the least possible impact in Andalusia, and we will ensure that the economy and way of life are as least damaged as possible.” “It depends on each and every one of the Andalusians,” said the President of the Junta.