Thursday 29 October, 2020

Mask-wearing legislation to be brought to Parliament on Friday

File photo: Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

File photo: Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

Legislation to make mask-wearing obligatory in public spaces will be introduced in Parliament on Friday.

Amid a recent spike in positive COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on August 15 announced that government was looking at instituting laws to make mask-wearing mandatory.

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi told reporters following his swearing-in last Wednesday the mandatory mask-wearing legislation would be first priority.

Speaking at the Ministry of Health's virtual media briefing on Wednesday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said some people are simply not getting the message about wearing face masks.

He said: "Mask legislation will be introduced in the Parliament tomorrow. It's a place that we thought that we should not have been but we have to go there now because not everybody is getting the message about wearing masks."

Deyalsingh added the virus will be around for years to come and citizens must take personal responsibility.

He said: "It's going to be a long-term haul. It's going to be years and the world has to change, our habits have to change and our social expectations have to change from today...Hopefully, the third wave is going to be smaller and the fourth wave is going to be even smaller. We need the public's cooperation."

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Tuesday said the Opposition had no objection to the legislation being passed in the Parliament.

On Wednesday morning, the Ministry of Health reported 132 new positive COVID-19 cases, pushing the number of total confirmed cases to 1,384 and active cases to 1,177.

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