TIJUANA (Border Report) — In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Tijuana officials are ordering the city’s police department to start ticketing people not wearing face masks in public.
Municipal police officers will be in charge of enforcing the new mandate. Fines will be between 430 and 1,300 pesos or $21-$65.
If you stroll through downtown Tijuana, you’ll notice a lot of people do wear face coverings, but it’s also easy to spot those who don’t.
“We need to require stronger measures, so people understand, that’s why I think this is a super idea,” said resident Andrés Rojo. “We are one of the state’s with the most cases and there’s a lot of misinformation out there and people’s irresponsibility has created this crisis we’re living in.”
Other citizens seem to agree with Rojo.
“It’s a good option considering the amount of cases, so many people sick, so it is a good measure,” said Adolfo Hernández, a Tijuana taxi driver. “It’s been what seven, eight months and people still don’t get it’s a real virus that we’re dealing with.”
If people can’t afford to pay the fine, Tijuana’s city council will allow residents to provide community service instead.
“The essence of this action is to protect people’s lives, this is the primary aim,” said councilmember José Refugio Cañada.
Police officers can issue warnings at their discretion.
Since the pandemic started, 12,366 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the city of Tijuana according to Baja California’s Secretary of Health with 2,592 deaths reported.