Top health official: Mask rule automatically disallows smoking on streets

A man is photographed smoking. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) has said that it will no longer be permitted to smoke on the streets of Male’ City after a rule for mandatory masks was enforced yesterday. 

The mask rule was enforced yesterday and is part of government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the capital which has been on the rise. 

Anyone in violation of the strict mask rule will be warned on the first instance and fined with MVR 1,000 if found in violation for a second time.

HEOC spokesperson, Dr. Nazla said that the mandatory masks meant that smoking would not longer be permitted on the streets. Some instances of people on the streets, with lowered masks and smoking, have been observed in the capital.

“Automatically, it means that if masks are mandatory on the streets, smoking is no longer permitted,” 

“No action will be taken if dining in restaurants with social distancing, for not wearing masks when dining. However, if we identify people not maintaining social distancing when we attend for inspections, we will close the place down.” Said Dr. Nazla. 

Four individuals were fined for not wearing masks on the very first day of the mask rule enforcement. Masks are to be worn appropriately and should cover the cheeks, chin, and nose fully.