At least four bills were submitted to Brazil’s lower house aiming at forcing people to wear protective face masks — of the bought or homemade varieties — in public spaces. If approved, measures that have already been applied in local jurisdictions such as Salvador and Brasília will be applied to a federal level.
Bill 2156/20 is the most comprehensive of the proposals, forcing citizens to wear masks in both public and private spaces — such as stores and industries. Non-compliance could be punished with fines or even prison sentences of up to one year if a person’s conduct is considered to be detrimental to public health. States would also be forced to provide masks to lower-income populations.
While the bills aim to provide an alternative to protect the population after social-isolation measures are relaxed, there is no estimate on the economic burden it would bring upon companies — which are already undergoing economic hardship — and cash-strapped state administrations.