MORE than 3,000 people have been fined in Spain’s Malaga for not wearing a mask.

The average number of fines made by policia local over the last 21 days, since the wearing of masks became mandatory, is 145 per day, of which 320 fines were handed out last weekend and another 64 this Monday.

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Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the virus.

The reason it has only recently been made mandatory, and not at the start of the pandemic, is because at that time, experts didn’t know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared.

Nor was it known that some people could have COVID-19 but not show any symptoms.

Both groups can unknowingly spread the virus to others.

The World Health Organization now also includes face masks in their recommendations for slowing the spread of the virus.

In a statement issued by the Malaga Policia Local, they say that despite the large number of fines handed out in the city, ‘the numbers should not tarnish the responsible and appropriate behaviour shown by most citizens.’

Additionally they say they will ‘continue their work with the utmost diligence and professionalism to ensure compliance with the preventive measures implemented to combat COVID-19.’

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