Local government officials in Los Cabos said a recent spike in coronavirus cases has forced them to mandate the use of face masks in businesses and public spaces.
Baja California Sur municipal health director Adan Monroy Justo said one regional hospital is 81 percent full and the other is 30 percent full, creating fear that a severe outbreak could push the facilities beyond their limits.
As a way to combat the fears, the popular Mexican tourism destination approved the mandatory masks by a vote of 11-1. Warnings will be issued to people who violate the rule, which went into effect Monday.
While it remains unclear what sanctions will be levied against offenders, the ordinance will last for 15 days and has the support of union leaders and businesses in the municipality. Los Cabos Mayor Armida Castro urged residents to follow health protocols and stay home as much as possible to avoid another potential lockdown.
“We need to raise awareness among citizens,” Castro said. “A few days ago, we talked with doctors, and they told us that we had to make an extra effort, that they were receiving between 15 and 20 patients a day and if something was not done, we could be like La Paz, with 110 patients a day.”
To help enforce the order and raise awareness, officials will be supplying 40,000 free masks at public locations throughout the 10 most vulnerable neighborhoods of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.
Earlier this month, authorities in the municipality of Tulum announced facial coverings in public would be mandatory and strict punishments would be imposed on those who violate the order.
In addition, officials in Cancun have announced that anyone caught not wearing face masks or following safety protocols associated with the coronavirus outbreak will face fines.
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