President Turns Himself In After Selfie Without a Mask

Sebastian Pinera is fined $3.5K after photo shows up on social media
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2020 10:45 AM CST
President Turns Himself In After Selfie Without a Mask
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera leaves a polling station in Santiago in October.   (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Chile isn't kidding about its mask rules during the pandemic. Anyone caught maskless in a public place can face jail time, as well as a fine. And photos on social media have brought Sebastian Pinera trouble before: one at a pizza party as demonstrators protested inequality, and one in a public square after the protesters were dispatched to their homes by coronavirus restrictions. So after a selfie of him with a passerby, both without masks, on a beach hit social media this month, Reuters reports, Pinera turned himself in. On Friday, he was assessed a $3,500 fine. He also apologized.

Pinera said he was walking along the beach in Cachagua when a woman recognized him and asked him to pose with her. The photo shows them close together, with neither wearing a mask. Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Chile, per the BBC, with more than 1,000 new infections reported each day since June. Demonstrations against restrictions have taken place, and Pinera has extended a state of emergency for 90 days, keeping the restrictions in place. (Read more Chile stories.)

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