The State government has decided to slap hefty penalties on those flouting mask wearing and social distancing norms in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Fine will be applicable even for those who do not cover their mouth and nose properly.
While a fine of ₹1,000 will be slapped against those who do not wear masks in urban areas, violators in rural areas will have to pay ₹500. Currently, the penalty for not wearing mask is ₹200. The jurisdictional police and revenue officials will be authorised to collect the fine.
An official order in this regard will be issued on Thursday after discussing with the Chief Minister, said Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar.
Addressing presspersons after a meeting with top officials, the Minister said the number of people flouting mask wearing and social distancing norms was on the rise. “If social distancing is not maintained in front of shops in markets and malls, action will be initiated not just against the shoppers but also against the shopkeepers. The shopkeepers will be issued a notice and their licence will be suspended. They should not allow more than five persons to gather near their shops and should ensure a distance of 6 ft is maintained.”
Not more than 50 people can attend public gatherings, events, and social functions, and if this is violated, action would be taken against the organisers of the events. Also, not more than 50% of the seats should be filled in public transport. Those not wearing masks would not be allowed to board public transport or attend work in government offices, the Minister said.
The State will also step up information, education, and communication (IEC) activities. “We will rope in religious leaders, politicians, film stars, and artists to create awareness,” the Minister said.
With at least 15 districts having a positivity rate of over 10, Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar held a videoconference with officials from six districts — Mysuru, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Tumakuru, Shivamogga, and Koppal.