Hundreds protest in Lisbon against mandatory masks

Hundreds of people in Portugal’s capital Lisbon took to the streets on Saturday to protest against measures introduced by the government to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, Lusa news agency reported.

Protestors were heard shouting “freedom” and “truth” and carried banners saying “Down with the dictatorship,” “Masks create distrust,” and “fear is not a vaccine.”

The protest came after the Portuguese parliament on Friday approved a draft bill imposing mandatory masks in public spaces when the physical distance recommended by the government is not possible.

The measure has been introduced in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The use of a mask is mandatory for everyone over 10 years of age, and those violating the rule face a fine of between 100-500 euros.

Portugal on Saturday reported the most new daily cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with the 3,669 new infections taking the total to 116,109.