The new rule making the use of face masks mandatory for shoppers at food and catering stores, besides government and private sector employees and clients, and workers in the contracting sector, came into effect on Sunday.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) issued circular requiring shoppers, customers and employees in the government and private sectors whose nature of work requires providing services to the public to wear masks while performing their duties, as part of the preventive and precautionary measures taken by the State to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The circular issued on Sunday states that “based on the decision of the Cabinet and as part of preventive and precautionary measures taken by the State to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and to complement previous decisions and precautionary measures and in the interest of public safety, it has been decided to obligate employees and workers in the government and private sectors whose nature their work requires providing services to the public and customers to wear masks while carrying out their duties and tasks.
The circular says clients are required to wear masks, and government and private sector officials are urged to take the necessary measures to prevent entry to any customer or client who is not committed to that.
Further, the circular stressed that shoppers are also required to wear masks before they enter food and catering stores, and officials in these shops are urged to take the necessary measures not to allow entry to any shopper who does not commit to this.
The MoCI has warned that any violation of these decisions exposes its perpetrators to the penalties stipulated in Decree Law No 17 of 1990 regarding the prevention of infectious diseases, by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine of no more than QR200,000 or one of these two penalties.
During a visit to a couple of hypermarkets on Sunday, Gulf Times lensmen saw people abiding by the rule even as PICTURES: Jayan Orma and Noushad Thekkayil