Qatar makes wearing face masks outside home mandatory
As Qatar ramps up efforts to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to safeguard the health of the wider population, the country has made it mandatory for all citizens and residents to wear a face mask when stepping out of their homes, for any reason.
This will come into effect from Sunday, May 17, 2020, it was announced during a regular meeting of the Cabinet, held yesterday via video conferencing.
The meeting, which was chaired by His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, also decided to further extend the preventive and precautionary measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Qatar.
The Cabinet confirmed the continuation of the precautionary measures and decided to "compel all citizens and residents to wear masks upon leaving the house for any reason, except when a person is alone while driving a vehicle," according to Qatar News Agency (QNA).
Following the Cabinet meeting yesterday, HE the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi shared the details of the proceedings, which are:
1- To compel all citizens and residents upon leaving [the] house for any reason to wear masks, except in the case when a person is alone while driving a vehicle, and the Ministry of Interior takes the necessary measures in this regard.
1- To compel all citizens and residents upon leaving house for any reason to wear masks, except in the case when a person is alone while driving a vehicle, and the Ministry of Interior takes the necessary measures in this regard. #QNA— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) May 14, 2020
2- In case of non-compliance with this decision, the penalties stipulated in Decree Law No. (17) of 1990 regarding the prevention of infectious diseases shall be applied to [the] violator by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding QR (200,000) two hundred thousand, or one of these two penalties.
2- In case of non-compliance with this decision, penalties stipulated in Decree Law No. 17 of 1990 regarding the prevention of infectious diseases applies to violator by imprisonment for not exceeding 3 years and fine not exceeding QR 200,000, or one of these two penalties. #QNA— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) May 14, 2020
3- This decision is effective from Sunday (May 17, 2020), until further notice.
In addition to this, the Cabinet also approved some other draft decrees, including the following:
- the guarantee agreement of the government of Qatar for the Al Kharsaah solar power plant project. The Cabinet approved the agreement to grant rights to the project and also gave a nod to its priority right agreement for the solar power plant.
- It also approved a draft law amending some provisions of Law No 12 of 2006 regarding the canceled Mesaieed municipality and decided to refer it to the Shura Council.
- It approved a decision to issue the executive regulations for the law regulating medical treatment abroad, while also approving a draft memorandum of understanding between the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Houston-Clear Lake in the US.
Earlier, in April, the Cabinet had announced a decision making it compulsory for all employees in the government and private sectors, whose nature of work involves providing services to the public and clients to wear face masks when on duty. This also applied to their clients who are obligated to wear face masks.
Meanwhile, health authorities in Qatar continue to implement the highest level of monitoring, detection, and management procedures to deal with the virus, the public has been advised to follow certain measures to safeguard their health.
For any queries, or concerns related to COVID-19 in Qatar, the public can contact a 24/7 hotline set up by the Ministry. The hotline number is 16000 and is toll-free.
Here's everything you need to know about the virus, including ways to protect yourself.
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