A northern Mexican state reintroduced the obligatory use of face masks in closed public spaces, officials said on Monday, in a bid to reduce rising COVID-19 infections, as well as the spread of other respiratory diseases.
The health minister of Nuevo Leon state, home to Mexico’s third-biggest city Monterrey, highlighted the updated guidelines in a news conference and said that the measure will go into effect immediately.
Official figures show Nuevo Leon is one of the areas with the highest concentrations of COVID-19 in Mexico, with new daily cases ticking up to nearly 120 at the start of last week; the highest level since September.
Around 86% of the state’s population have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, according to the latest figures, meaning the COVID risk is classified as “medium.” Locally, the benchmark for a “low-risk” environment is a 90% vaccination rate.
Mexico’s federal government removed the recommendation to wear a face mask in open spaces in October, though it was never legally required.