Delhi makes masks mandatory in public places, re-imposes fine for violation

Haryana, July 02 (ANI): Factory workers wearing masks walk towards their respective factory in the early hours of the day at Dundahera, in Gurugram on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi government on Friday announced the re-imposition of a fine of Rs 500 on those found not wearing masks in public places with immediate effect.

However, the fine will not be applicable to persons travelling together in private four-wheeler vehicles.

The decision has been taken as the positivity rate of COVID-19 infection has been increasing in Delhi over the past fortnight.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had in its meeting on Wednesday decided to make masks mandatory in public places.

“A fine of Rs 500 for not wearing of face mask/cover in all public places in Delhi will be imposed from immediate effect till further orders in compliance of Notification dated February 26, 2022. Further, the fine under this provision of the notification will not be applicable to persons travelling together in private four-wheeler vehicles,” the Health and Family Welfare Department’s order reads.

DDMA after examining all relevant facts related to the penal provisions for not adhering to COVID-19 protocols of wearing masks in public places decided to impose the fine with immediate effect.

This comes after the Delhi government on Friday released the Special Operating Procedure (SOPs) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

According to the SoP issued by the Directorate of Education, the deployment of school staff, who would make sure no student or staff with COVID symptoms enter the school premises, has been made mandatory at the main gate. Thermal screening too has been made compulsory at the main gate.

Hand sanitization has also been made mandatory at school entrances, classrooms, labs and public places.

The SoP also suggests that parents should not send their children to school if any family member shows COVID symptoms, and the teachers should seek information about the family members of students and whether they have COVID symptoms while taking takes attendance.

Notably, 965 new COVID cases were reported in Delhi yesterday and a day before that the number was 1,009. The active cases in the city have crossed the 3,000 mark.

Nearly three weeks ago, when Delhi witnessed a dip in the daily infections, the DDMA had issued an order removing the fine for not wearing masks. However, it had advised people to continue using them in crowded places. (ANI)