From Sunday, people in Qatar will have to compulsorily wear face masks while stepping out of home for any reason, in line with a recent Cabinet decision.
The only exception is "when a person is alone while driving a vehicle”.
The Ministry of Interior is authorised to take necessary measures to enforce the rule. In case of non-compliance, the penalties stipulated in Decree Law No 17 of 1990 regarding the prevention of infectious diseases shall be applied to the violator - imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine of up to QR200,000, or either of one these two penalties.
The decision will remain in effect until further notice.
In a video advisory Saturday, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) also stressed the need for people to properly dispose of used masks and gloves. "Inappropriate disposal can put others' lives at risk," it noted.
Starting tomorrow, wearing a face mask is mandatory for everyone upon leaving the house except while a person is driving a vehicle alone. Follow these measures on how to wear your face mask and gloves properly to protect yourself & others:— مكتب الاتصال الحكومي (@GCOQatar) May 16, 2020
Some people throw gloves and masks on grounds and other undesignated areas after leaving a supermarket or other places.
"The virus usually stays on fabrics, such as face masks, for approximately one week. This poses a risk to anyone who comes close to masks carrying that virus throughout this period. The risk of spreading the infection mainly affects street cleaners. Children may also be at risk if they pick up a contaminated mask from the ground," the advisory explains.
"Once used, a face mask becomes moist with saliva, and should be thrown in a waste container immediately after removal. The hands should be washed or disinfected after throwing it," it adds.
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