People will be allowed to remove their masks to smoke under a new law which makes the wearing of masks mandatory practically everywhere, Health Minister Chris Fearne has confirmed.
“As a doctor, I know smoking isn’t good for your health and if masks help people stop smoking, that will be a good thing,” he said. “However, it is an exception and you’re allowed to take off your mask to light a cigarette. We’re not recommending it though; we recommend that people keep their masks on and don’t smoke.”
However, Fearne was steadfast in insisting people should keep their masks on when on solitary walks, urging people not to try and find loopholes in this law.
“Let’s take the measures in good faith and not try and find loopholes which allow us to slack off,” he said. “We haven’t introduced these measures to repress people but to safeguard public health. Masks have proven to be effective in protecting each other and our own health and we advise everyone to wear masks wherever they can.”
“If you’re by yourself in your car or office or at home with your household, you obviously don’t have to wear a mask, but if we start telling ourselves we can remove it when we’re by ourselves or if we’re walking and cannot see the person closest to us, we’ll just start finding loopholes.”
Malta introduced a mandatory mask-wearing law last Saturday, giving a week’s grace period before its enforcement. Fines will remain at €100, which will be reduced to €50 if it is paid before proceedings commence in front of the Commissioner for Justice.
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