Drastic measures are taken by officials in Laredo, Texas to curb the spread of coronavirus. These measures include issuing $1,000 fines for residents caught in public without a mask.
Laredo has made an emergency mandate after the US Surgeon General recently made the suggestion, effective as of Thursday (Apr 2), requiring residents older than 5 years old to wear “some form of covering over their nose and mouth” when using public transportation, taxis, ride shares, pumping gas or when inside a building open to the public.”
However, the rule is not applicable to those: riding in personal vehicles or alone in separate single spaces; engaging in permissible outside physical activity; and those alone in their homes or eating food. Also, if the mask poses a health, safety or security risk to the individual, the mandate will not be upheld.
In order to avoid the Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fine up to $1,000, local government officials says coverings can include homemade masks, scarves, bandanas or handkerchiefs.
Additionally, Laredo Councilman Marte Martinez explains, “We’re not trying to be punitive as far as trying to drown people in debt. What we’re trying to do is get a point across. What we’re trying to is convince people to use these masks to try to save lives.”