Preserving the Eighth Amendment Right to Freedom of Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Which Includes Being Free from Restraints. i.e. MASKS
(Please Note: Due to limited reporting on some countries we are only able to provide most recent information that may not include impacts of the Delta variant)
Masks are required indoors and outdoors. People are allowed to take their masks off outdoors only if they’re eating
In 2020, Australians had few COVID restrictions; face masks weren’t required as the country consistently recorded days when no Covid cases were found at all. Amid rising cases in Australia, the requirement to wear a face mask in all indoor areas of non-residential premises was recently applied in greater Sydney, and has been extended to all of New South Wales. Similar rules have been imposed in Victoria, where masks must be worn everywhere except for in your home.
In June, the Belgian Mayor announced that citizens no longer needed to wear a mask outdoors and lifted the curfew allowing residents to have a drink at night. Masks have been a feature of outdoor life in Brussels since the early days of lockdown in spring 2020, but as vaccination rates increase and hospitalizations fall, there is less need for a mask when out and about.
The pandemic began in China, but China is now a mask-free nation. China was one of the worst-affected countries in the initial days, but the government curbed the situation with strict lockdowns. According to reports, almost the entire country is vaccinated against Coronavirus. China reported 35 new COVID-19 cases in the mainland on July 23, down from 48 cases a day, the country’s national health authority reported.
Wearing masks is mandatory in public areas, including many city centers, as well as in offices, public transport, taxis and shops. The rule applies even to those who are fully vaccinated. There’s a potential fine of 135 euros ($163) for failure to comply. The French authorities recommend indoor mask-wearing in private residences when in the presence of people from outside the household.
Europe’s largest economy tightened its rules in January, ruling out cloth face coverings and requiring medical masks that filter particles in public transportation, shops, hairdressers and offices. Masks are required outdoors where people congregate, but as long as social-distancing can be maintained people can go mask-free. Fines can be levied for failing to adhere to the rules.
Hong Kong has been enforcing a strict mask requirement for public places for nearly a year. Residents need to wear a mask in shopping malls, supermarkets and building lobbies or risk a potential HK$5,000 ($644) fine.
In May, the Hungarian government announced that most of the country’s remaining restrictions, including the mask mandate, would be lifted upon reaching five million vaccinations. This was achieved in May after it reached the desired targets. Face masks are no longer mandatory except for hospitals; citizens are given the option to wear mask if they choose to.
In late April, the federal government’s Covid-19 taskforce tightened its guidance and recommended that Indians even wear masks at home, as a variant of the coronavirus started infecting entire families and has made the world’s largest democracy the epicenter of the pandemic. Almost all states in India have made mask-wearing mandatory, with several imposing fines for rule-breakers.
It’s mandatory for people to wear masks when leaving home, with each province implementing its own set of regulations and fines for offenders. In the capital, Jakarta, masks are mandatory — including in private cars — and offenders face between 250,000 rupiah ($18) to 1 million rupiah in fines if caught violating the rule.
In June, Italy became a mask-free and low-risk coronavirus zone. This declaration marks a milestone for the country, which was the first European country to be hit by the pandemic in February 2020. For the first time since then, the country’s health ministry classified its 20 regions as “white” areas last month, suggesting low risk of transmission.
In June, Israel reintroduced a requirement to wear masks indoors amid a rise in coronavirus cases, just days after it lifted the measure due to a surge in infections, mostly due to the Delta variant from abroad. In July, the coronavirus cabinet approved new restrictions amid rising daily cases and the restrictions.
Wearing face masks has been mandatory in public places in Malaysia since last August. The country in March raised fines for Covid-19 violations, including not wearing masks, to between 1,500 ringgit and 10,000 ringgit ($2,400). Repeat offenders can be slapped with heftier fines.
The government recommends wearing masks indoors, especially when a person can’t keep a 1.5-meter (5 feet) distance from others, or when there are many people congregating outdoors. Mexico has required masks at workplaces but there’s little enforcement.
New Zealand reported just 2,658 COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths total during the pandemic. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has received praises from all over the world for its quick response to the pandemic and making the country a COVID and mask free nation so quickly.
Double up if you’re visiting this nation, where the government requires two masks to be worn in supermarkets, markets, malls and pharmacies. A shield mask is recommended in closed spaces, but in practice, malls and supermarkets force customers to use that secondary level of protection. A single mask is mandatory while out on the streets.
In April, the government mandated wearing masks when people leave their homes. Individuals caught not properly wearing a mask or face shield will be apprehended, President Rodrigo Duterte said in an address in May. The Southeast Asian nation has some 1.1 million cases out of a population of 109 million, the second worst outbreak in the region.
Rules are set by regional governments and vary widely across the country. President Vladimir Putin is regularly shown without a mask, as are many other top officials. In Moscow, masks and gloves are required on public transport and stores, but enforcement has been spotty. As caseloads have picked up, state media have reported police conducting spot checks in the subway, issuing fines to offenders. Aeroflot, the state airline, requires passengers to wear face coverings.
It’s mandatory for everyone six years old and over to wear a mask when leaving their homes in Southeast Asia, which is battling an uptick in Covid-19 cases after months of success in containing the pandemic. Those who do not comply face a first-time fine of S$300 ($225) and repeat offenders face higher financial penalties or even prosecution in court. The few exceptions to the mandate include strenuous exercise, like running or jogging, and masks must be worn again once the activity is over.
The government has made mask-wearing compulsory everywhere outside the home, with a few exceptions such as when eating or drinking and during strenuous exercise. Compliance is patchy and rarely legally enforced, though there have been reports of arrests during surges in Covid cases.
The country has mandated wearing masks at nearly all times, regardless of vaccination status, since early last year. Exceptions are only made when eating, drinking and engaging in hygiene-related activities as well as when outdoors with no one close by. Virtually everyone adheres to the requirement, as mask-wearing was already common in South Korea even before Covid when people were sick or air quality was poor. South Koreans take the mandate seriously: If a person is spotted without one, they’re often accosted by strangers.
On July 1, Sweden’s restrictions ended. The country has never imposed a full lockdown and has only recommended mask-wearing during rush hour on public transport. Sweden relied mainly on voluntary measures to stem the spread of Covid-19, though curbs on opening hours for restaurants and limits on crowds at venues. Coronavirus cases in Sweden are falling and removing mask recommendations is likely to have minimal negative impact because rules were “poorly followed in the first place”. Most travelers returning to Sweden will need to be tested for Covid-19.
Masks are required in eight types of venues where large numbers of people congregate and social distancing is difficult, such as shopping malls, public transport, healthcare facilities and places of worship. Those who refuse to put on a mask after being asked to do so can be fined up to NT$15,000 ($535).
On May 1, the country enforced a nationwide mask mandate in all public areas to contain its worst outbreak to date, after its relative success in containing Covid for much of last year. Although the majority of Thais observe the rule, officials want to impose fines on those who don’t in an effort to achieve 100% adoption.
ENGLAND – Wearing face masks is no longer mandatory for people in England, but they are still advised to wear them in crowded spaces, according to a report from the World Economic Forum. People in England no longer have to wear masks after the country lifted almost all Covid-19 restrictions – dubbing it as “freedom day”.
IRELAND – On July 26, Northern Ireland removed restrictions on face coverings in places of worship and for students in school classrooms.
SCOTLAND – In Scotland, masks must still be worn in shops, public transport, pubs, and restaurants.
WALES – In Wales, masks are required in all public indoor areas, apart from when seated to eat or drink.