Bolsonaro wants to make masks optional for vaccinated Brazilians

Bolsonaro wants to make masks optional for vaccinated Brazilians
Jair Bolsonaro has rarely worn a face mask. Photo: Antonio Scorza/Shutterstock

President Jair Bolsonaro announced that the government will prepare a report defending that Brazilians who have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 — or who have previously contracted the disease — will no longer be obliged to wear protective masks.

The announcement took place during a ceremony at the presidential palace on Thursday afternoon. Mr. Bolsonaro said the decision was made in accordance with Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga. “[Mr. Queiroga] is going to draft a report making the use of masks optional for those who are already vaccinated or who have been contaminated,” he said.

Masks were made mandatory nationwide in July 2020. The law, however, is barely enforced. In the city of São Paulo, for instance, not a single fine for mask use was issued between June 2020 and February of this year.

Last year, Brasília correspondent Renato Alves showed how civil servants were peer-pressured into not wearing masks within government buildings. Many servants obliged out of fear of being seen as “enemies of the state” by the government.