(July 10, 2020) On July 2, 2020, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed into law certain provisions of a law passed by the National Congress concerning the use of individual protection masks and other safety measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, while vetoing several other related provisions. Law No. 14,019 provides for the mandatory use of masks in public spaces and private spaces accessible to the public, and on public roads and public transport; the adoption of sanitizing measures for public spaces, including public transport; and making sanitizing products available to users of public spaces. (Art. 1.)
Law No. 14,019 amended Law No. 13,979 of February 6, 2020, which provides for measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and added article 3-A, which makes it mandatory to keep the mouth and nose covered by an individual protection mask while in public spaces and private spaces accessible to the public; on public roads and public transport; in individual private passenger transport vehicles or taxis; and on chartered buses, aircraft, and boats.
Bolsonaro, however, vetoed the mandatory use of masks in public bodies and entities, arguing that it would be an imposition on the states and an infringement of their constitutional competence. He also vetoed the mandatory use of masks in commercial or industrial establishments, places of worship, educational places and other closed places where people gather, invoking article 5(XI) of the Constitution, which article says that “the home is the individual’s inviolable asylum.”
On July 7, 2020, Bolsonaro announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He affirmed that he was “OK” and was going into quarantine for 14 days.