The consequences of non-wearing of a mask and spitting law in the era of Pandemic

Wearing a mask has become the symbol of the pandemic COVID-19. Non-wearing of mask is a serious offense and anyone not wearing mask will be fined. 

Several countries around the world mandated the use of masks to reduce the spread of viral respiratory disease. While some embraced the idea without much while others have ditched it in the name of personal liberty and lack of evidence.

 

Guidelines of WHO in terms of not wearing of a mask

According to the latest reports of WHO (World Health Organization), masks are not necessary for healthy people, but anyone who is coughing and sneezing or is exposed to patients suffering from the virus should wear masks.

As per the revised guidelines, WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus suggested, everyone should wear non-medical (fabric) masks in pubic. The fabric should also have three layers of different materials.

They have also advised the government to enforce not wearing mask an offense and take regulatory measures on the same.

WHO in terms of not wearing of a mask

What is India’s take on non-wearing of a mask? 

The number of cases in India is rising each day. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has issued guidelines where masks are compulsory for people entering restaurants, religious places, offices, and shopping malls.

 

Penalty:  

The Government has informed the Indians that anyone caught not wearing mask will be fined under Section 188 ((Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.

Though different states have different penalty amount for not wearing mask on nose, the basic amount varies Rs.500 to Rs.1000 with imprisonment.

In Ahmedabad not wearing mask penalty is Rs.500 and an extra-fine of Rs.10000 will be imposed on “paan shop owners” if the customers are found spitting anywhere near the shop.

The not wearing mask penalty in Kerala was Rs. 2000 which is increased to a whooping Rs.10000 or a two-year jail term because of the rise in the number of cases.

 

Is not wearing mask an offence in other countries?

Different counties have their unique take on not wearing of mask covid.

 

  • US:
  • Though initially there was confusion and shifting guidance over masks, it became politicized when The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requested Americans to wear face cloth to cover the nose while going out in public.
  • The US informed the people not to wear medical-grade masks as they are needed for the essential workers.

 

  • UK:
  • The UK government has advised people to wear face coverings when they in an enclosed area and social distancing is not possible.
  • The UK government also mentions that they have legal evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) that suggest covering the face can reduce the transmission of COVID-19, drastically.

 

  • Singapore:
  • The Government of Singapore has advised the people to wear a mask (preferably re-usable) anytime they step out of the homes or using public transport or going to the market.
  • They have also advised to remove the mask when doing some strenuous activities like jogging or running, but should also put it on after the activity is over.
  • Not wearing mask singapore fine is $300 and repeat offenders will pay higher fines or cam even face prosecution.

 

Is not wearing a mask illegal in California? 

 Yes, it is! And if anyone is caught breaking the rule, they will be charged $300 and business will be charged up to $1,000 for not wearing a mask at work or not maintaining social distancing.

 

 Spitting law in the era of Coronavirus

 Spitting was not really a concern until the spread of Coronavirus. Now the government of different countries has sanctioned spitting law along with the mask-wearing law.

According to the National Health Services (NHS), spitting poses an increased risk of infection among people and measures should be taken to stop it publicly.

Why did the spitting law suddenly come to the limelight?

For India, spitting was not really a concern until the outbreak of COVID-19.

Few incidents during the pandemic led to the rise of anti spitting law and now it has officially become a public offense.

 

Is spitting against the law in Australia?

Yes, spitting is against the law in Australia and the spitting laws in australia have imposed a fine of $5000 for coughing or spitting on frontline officers.

The offenders may also have to serve imprisonment for 6 months or more.

 

What is India doing in terms of anti-spitting law or no spitting law?

In India, the health department has issued a notification declaring the ban on spitting of tobacco or non-tobacco products in public places. However, the government has confirmed, there is no penalty for not abiding the rule and asked the citizens to act responsibly.

However, there is a spitting law in Maharashtra where anyone caught spitting against the will be penalized with Rs.500 or Rs1000 respectively.

The anti spitting law in bangalore has introduced fines starting from Rs5000 reaching up to Rs.25,000 for second or third offenders and they also have to perform community work.

Along with Maharashtra and Bangalore, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh have also imposed spitting law as a part of COVID-19 containment measures.

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