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Morocco Imposes Instant Fines for Not Wearing Masks

Morocco Imposes Instant Fines for Not Wearing Masks

Friday, 14 August, 2020 - 05:30
People cross the street as a tram bearing a face protective mask to spread awareness on preventing the spread of coronavirus, arrives in the center of the Moroccan capital Rabat on June 16, 2020. (AFP)

The Moroccan authorities intend to impose fines on violators who don’t wear masks as part of measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 disease which has brought the country’s tally to 1,500 cases in 24 hours.

Morocco’s government adopted Wednesday a draft decree that simplifies the enforcement of wearing face masks in public.

Government spokesman Saeed Amazazi said that under the amended law, offenders have the option of paying the fine in cash. In that case, the enforcement officer immediately delivers a report to the offender, which serves as a receipt for payment.

In the event that the offender is unable to pay the fine immediately, the officer grants the violator 24 hours. The offender receives a report notifying him of the police or gendarmerie department where he needs to pay the fine.

The offender then has to pay the fine at the designated office after presenting the violation report.

If the offender exceeds the 24-hour limit without paying the fine, the new decree allows the officer who recorded the violation to send a report to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to take the appropriate legal measures.

Article 4 of the decree provides for prison sentences ranging from one to three months and a fine of MAD300 to MAD1,300 (USD30, USD130), or one of the two penalties.

Morocco has imposed wearing masks outdoors to enforce all precautionary measures that help contain the spread of the pandemic.

In a related context, the highest judicial council in Morocco exempted court personnel with low immunity, pregnant women, and critical disease patients from coming to work.

The Council attributed this decision to recent new cases among staff in courts.

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