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Dec 18, 2020

$500 Fine for Face Mask Offense, Plus Stiffer COVID-19 Regulations

Kareem Musa

The use of face masks remains mandatory, despite the penalty for the offense of not having one or wearing it improperly having been reduced to a fine of five hundred dollars.  For business owners, the Ministry of Home Affairs emphasizes that customers adhere to all COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing and hand sanitizing and since it is the height of the shopping season, Justices of the Peace will be assigned to businesses to ensure that order is being kept and that patrons are in compliance with these regulations.


Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“Face masks.  You must be tired of hearing about face masks, but every single day the police is detaining and arresting, in some cases, hundreds of individuals violating this very measure, the wearing of face masks and wearing face masks properly, meaning it must cover your nose and your mouth.  There is no need for you to wear a face mask if you are at a private residence, if you are exercising, swimming, if you are driving alone or driving with members of the same household.  Those are the only exceptions.  In terms of businesses, no owner or manager of a business should allow entry to anyone who is not wearing their face mask or wearing it properly.  So there is a responsibility being placed on owners and managers of establishments.  Please ensure that your customers are wearing face masks at all times.  It is an offense not to wear face masks and not to wear it properly and the charge for that offense is five hundred dollars.  You will recall that there was a maximum that was imposed under the last couple SIs of five thousand dollars.  Well in practice at the magistrate’s court level, we saw where the magistrates were fining people between five hundred to fifteen hundred dollars.  Much of those fines have not been paid, but in fact the police is going to be following up on those fines, so you have a responsibility to pay that.”

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