The border town of Laredo, Texas, has announced all citizens must wear a protective face mask while out in public or face a fine.

On Tuesday night, the city council, in a teleconference while isolated in separate rooms and all wearing face masks, passed new measures clamping down on residents’ civil liberties.

One new order forces Laredoans “to begin wearing protective face masks, or ‘nose to mouth’ covers. That includes any type of fabric, scarf, or bandana,” reports

Residents who don’t comply with the mandate which goes into effect Thursday at midnight could face a fine of $50 to $1,000, and punishment could include incarceration.

“Council originally mandated the order for anyone who goes outside, but the rule was later changed to essentially anyone who leaves their home,” reports

The council graciously made an exception for people working out in their yards or garages.

The Laredo council also extended til the end of April a curfew prohibiting “all ages” to be out in public after 10PM and before 5AM, unless “working or out for essential services.”

The city’s order appears at odds with mandates prescribed by federal health officials, including the US Surgeon General, who last month told the general public to “STOP BUYING MASKS,” because they’re “NOT effective in preventing the general public from catching coronavirus.”

However, Thursday the Surgeon General appeared to walk back that advice, claiming masks could help “prevent asymptomatic disease transmission to others.”

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