Blog post by Marica Micallef
When questioned whether those who were fined for not wearing a face mask on the beach before the 1st of June, will have a right to appeal that fine (and hopefully, get refunded), Dr Chris Fearne replied that there are no grounds for appeal. He stated that “these measures aren’t retroactive” and “the law comes into effect from when it is introduced and onwards. After 1st June, masks will be obligatory except in cases where one goes swimming.”
The reason which Dr Fearne gave was that if the mask gets wet, it doesn’t remain effective. What are the thoughts of those who were fined for not wearing a mask at the beach before the 1st of June? Don’t they feel that they were fined unfairly? Are laws bent to suit economic interests and change of measures during this pandemic? Would it be more apt to state that mask wearing on the beach was lifted in order to accommodate tourists? If numbers of active cases rise again in August or Autumn, will this law come into effect again?
Is this a seasonal pandemic or an annual one? Shouldn’t a pandemic have THE SAME measures applicable all year round? Is this the dangerous pandemic of which they scared the public of? Haven’t they been hammering that mask wearing is mandatory everywhere so TO PROTECT others and yourself from the transmission of the virus? Was this rhetoric flushed down the drain? Isn’t protection needed at the beach now? If airports had to remain closed, will the Maltese public still be asked to wear masks on the beach? Doesn’t the catchy phrase “For your safety” apply anymore? Aren’t they worried about the safety of the public now? Didn’t they tell us that masks are very effective? If, experts advised Dr Fearne that wet masks aren’t effective, then amidst this pandemic which they portray as dangerous, wouldn’t they have banned beaches from public access in order to prevent the surging of the coronavirus?
To add insult to injury, Dr Fearne stated that the rules must be practical and hence, wearing masks at the beach is not practical! Then what makes wearing masks for eight hours straight while at work, practical? What makes wearing masks while going up a flight of stairs, hardly able to breathe, practical? Is mask wearing for children while at school, depriving them from oxygen which they need to concentrate, practical? Is it practical to have old people wearing masks? Is mask wearing while walking in the heat, practical? Don’t masks also get moist and wet with people exhaling in them? Then doesn’t the same argument apply – that moist masks, like wet masks, do not work?!
Lastly, could it be that the true reason that received fines cannot be appealed is that these fines didn’t specify that the citizen in question was fined for not wearing a mask ON THE BEACH, and so, there is no proof that the fine’s context is “the beach”? Didn’t I criticise an irrational fine which was given to someone who did not have his mask on while eating on the beach, in my blog “An irrational fine for not putting on the mask while eating”? Didn’t I mention that all there was written next to the point “Others” was “no mask”?
So, am I right to argue that those who were fined for not wearing the mask on the beach, cannot prove that they were on the beach when fined? Is this the real reason? Is money-making the ultimate goal of the authorities behind these unfair fines? Are these fines being used so to kickstart the dormant economy which was ruined thanks to the irrational lockdowns?
I therefore urge those people who were fined on the beach to stand up and be counted if they want things to change.