KuwaitOther News

Govt proposes instant fines for not wearing facemasks

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The Cabinet yesterday approved an amendment to the law to impose instant fines for people not wearing facemasks and not abiding by health guidelines as part of new restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The amendment will be sent to HH the Amir and to the National Assembly for approval and implementation.

The decision did not specify the amount of the fine or when it will be implemented. The United Arab Emirates, for example, imposes a 3,000 dirham (KD 250) fine for people not wearing facemasks. The Cabinet also decided during its weekly meeting that customers must make prior reservations to dine at restaurants and cafes or to visit sport clubs in order to avoid crowding.

The Cabinet also decided to ban desert camping and erecting tents in residential areas and chalets. The new measures come amid a rise in the number of new coronavirus cases reported in the country in the past few weeks. HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah told the Assembly on Thursday that health conditions in the country were alarming.

The Cabinet also decided to set up a special committee to oversee the implementation of health guidelines during the forthcoming Assembly elections, expected to be held in late November or early December. The decisions came after the Cabinet was briefed by Health Minister Sheikh Basel Al-Sabah about health conditions in the country and efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister informed the Cabinet about the rise in the number of deaths, hospitalizations and the number of patients in intensive care units. The Cabinet urged the public to strictly observe all health guidelines to prevent a new wave of COVID-19.

Government spokesman Tareq Al-Mazrem said since the end of June, 6,112 violations were issued against malls, markets and shops, while 484 orders to shut down shops were issued. But the Cabinet did not decide on any closures or partial curfews as has been reported in the local media over the past few days in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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