More nations make it mandatory to wear face masks


PETALING JAYA: As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, more governments have made it mandatory to wear face masks.

Those who do not comply with mask-wearing regulations face penalties, from fines which go into the thousands, to even jail terms.

Singapore made it compulsory in April to wear a mask when stepping out of the house after their cases shot up through the roof.

Those caught without a mask will be fined S$300 (RM919) for their first offence, while those caught a second time will be fined S$1,000 (RM3,065).

Those who keep on flouting the rule could be prosecuted in court.

Foreign residents caught breaching these rules might have their work passes or permanent resident status revoked.

Exceptions are given to people who are engaged in strenuous exercises like running, but they will have to put it on once they stop exercising.

Vietnam made it compulsory to wear masks in public places such as airports, bus stations, supermarkets, and public transport vehicles back in March.

Despite recording only 57 cases at the time, the country made it a requirement for all Vietnamese and foreign nationals to put on a mask when out in public.

As of Monday, the country now has 24 active coronavirus cases, with daily new cases in the single-digits.

Qatar has some of the world’s stiffest penalties on mandatory mask use, with those failing to don a mask facing up to three years in jail.

They also face fines of up to a whopping 200,000 riyal (RM225,000).

In Morocco, the government in April warned that anyone who fails to comply with wearing face masks will be slapped with a fine of 1,300 dirham (RM1,500) and a prison sentence of up to three months.

Over in Europe, people in Poland are to wear a face mask or a homemade piece of fabric such as a scarf when in public.

This includes public places such as roads, squares, marketplaces and even green areas such as parks and beaches.

Spain has also made it compulsory for everyone older than the age of six to wear masks in indoor public spaces, and also in outdoor spaces if it is not possible to keep more than two metres apart.

Tourists who are enjoying sunny Spanish holidays are also obligated to wear face masks lest they face a €100 fine (RM487).

In France, face coverings were mandated on public transportation starting May, with those flouting the rules being fined €135 (RM658).

Recently, the country has also imposed a rule starting on Monday mandating face masks in public.

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