Many Vincentians without any recent travel history have tested positive for the coronavirus. However, despite this increase in local virus cases, the government has not made the wearing of face masks mandatory.
Speaking on NBC Radio this morning, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says enforcing the mandatory wearing of face masks will be problematic. He believes the law has to make sense from the standpoint of reasonable enforcement in the real world.
Gonsalves notes making the wearing of masks mandatory would also affect school children: “You want to make masks mandatory for everybody including children? So police would go and pick up 10-year-olds and 12-year-olds?”
He says there will also be the problem of taking police resources and leaving real serious crimes unattended.
The prime minister says people will continue to be educated and told that in all circumstances it is better to wear the mask than not to wear it. In fact, Gonsalves says since the uptick in COVID-19 cases, people can be seen wearing masks more.
Some business places have asked people to wear a mask and the prime minister is urging members of the public to work with these businesses. It was also noted that throughout the public service, instructions have been given for the wearing of masks.
Gonsalves believes once the public adheres to the island’s COVID-19 protocols, the current spike will get under control.