Despite president’s rejection, Brazilian Congress makes masks mandatory

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro speaks with press about the controversial cabinet meeting video recently disclosed on May at Alvorada Palace on May 22, 2020 in Brasilia. Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brasilia, Brazil — The Brazilian Congress makes the use of mask mandatory despite the President’s rejection.

The Congress has decided that masks will be mandatory in closed places like commercial establishments, many workplaces, religious temples and schools.

The President Jair Bolsonaro’s rejection was overturned in a joint session of both houses – Senate and Deputies Chamber – on such requirements.

The senators and deputies also upheld the right of mayors and governors to fine anyone who disobeyed the requirements in the votes taken on Wednesday.

The Congress has also overturned the President’s rejection to a law that sets out the federal government’s dueties to protect indigenous people during the ongoing pandemic.

The legislators of Brazil
upheld aspects of the law assuring universal access to drinkable water, emergency access to beds in hospitals, the acquisition of ventilators and the delivery of free food to indigenous people and communities of slaves’ descendants. 

Joenia Wapichana, celebrated the Congress’ action on her Twitter account. She is the first indigenous woman to occupy a federal deputy seat in Brazil.

“With the Federal Law number 14.021 restored, the Government of Jair Bolsonaro is OBLIGED, by law and by the decision of the STF [Federal Supreme Court], to give due urgent and emergency attention to prevent a new genocide in indigenous peoples, due to the pandemic”.