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Friday, August 7, 2020

Luma Reopened, Mosque, Churches Remain Closed

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National Covid-19 Response Centre (NACOVERC) yesterday announced the COVID-19 Enhanced Regulations reopening all periodic market days (Lumas and Ndorweis) while also announcing that worship in all Churches and Mosque still remains banned until further notice.

The regulations say Local Councils should ensure local markets have hand-washing stations placed at strategic locations in the market and hand washing by customers should be strictly enforced.

Both sellers and buyers will be required to have face masks on while interacting with each other. See more regulations below.

NACOVERC

COVID-19 Enhanced Regulations

  1. Traditional practices: All secret society activities remain banned until further notice.
    1. Religious practice:
      1. Worship in all churches and mosques remain banned until further notice.
      1. Funeral processions will continue to be restricted to family members but not to exceed 35 people. Social distancing and use of face masks are mandatory.
      1. Traditional engagements such as weddings and naming ceremonies must be limited to not more than 35 people.  Social distancing and use of face masks are mandatory.
    1. Transport:
      1. Taxis will continue to be limited to three passengers at a time (one front, two rear).
      1. ‘Kekeh’ rickshaws will continue to be limited to two passengers at a time.
      1. There shall be no middle row sitting and no standing in mini-buses (poda-podas) and big buses.
      1. All drivers and motorcyclists are required to carry hand sanitisers for application on passengers.
      1. All transport parks must have hand washing facilities.
      1. Ferries and boats must carry not more than 50% of its normal capacity of passengers at a time and supervisors/marshals shall ensure social distancing[1] measures are fully applied.
      1. Face masks must be worn by passengers and drivers/coxswains in all forms of public transportation at all times.
      1. Occupants of private vehicles must also use a face mask at all times while in the vehicle, except in cases where the driver is alone
      1. The driver and all passengers without masks on in all forms of public transportation will be liable to pay a fine of Le100,000 or be detained for a first offence.
  • For a second offence, the driver and offending passengers will be fined or detained, and the vehicle will be seized.
    • Seized vehicles may be reclaimed on payment of a fine of Le250,000 for motorbikes and tricycles and Le1 million for cars and buses.
      • Failure to retrieve the vehicle within one month will result in the vehicle being permanently impounded and disposed of.
    • Trade:
      • All supermarkets, pharmacies and shops must continue to adhere to stringent hygiene measures such as hand washing and application of sanitisers and observe strict social distancing by ensuring that not more than 3 to 5 clients are in a shop, depending on the size of the shop.

(1)       Not more than 20 to 25 customers should be allowed at any particular time in a supermarket.

(2)       Shop/ supermarket attendants must either wear a face mask or be behind a glass/ plexi-glass barrier.

(3)       Shops/pharmacies that do not adhere to these regulations shall pay a fine of Le500,000 for a first offence and be temporarily closed if they commit a second offence.

(4)       Supermarkets that do not adhere to these regulations shall pay a fine of Le1.5 million for a first offence and be temporarily closed if they commit a second offence.

(5)       No customer should be allowed into a shop/pharmacy/supermarket without a face mask on properly. The owner/proprietor of the shop/supermarket has the responsibility to enforce this regulation. Consequently, any shop/pharmacy/supermarket found with customers who do not have a mask on properly, will pay a fine of Le100,000 for each customer for a first offence and will be temporarily closed for a subsequent offence.

(6)       All banks shall ensure they comply with the regulations applicable to supermarkets.

(7)       Local Councils should ensure local markets have hand-washing stations placed at strategic locations in the market and hand washing by customers should be strictly enforced. Both sellers and buyers will be required to have face masks on while interacting with each other. Individuals will be fined Le20,000 for non-compliance.

(8)       All periodic market days (‘Lumas’/‘Ndorweis’) can resume but shall ensure the same conditions applicable to markets are enforced.

  • Entertainment:All bars and restaurants are required to operate between the hours of 7am and 10pm and apply social-distancing and hand washing measures stringently.Customers shall not be allowed to sit at the bar in such establishments.All staff in bars and restaurants must have masks on properly at all times while attending to customers.Social distancing in bars and restaurants will require a distance of at least 3 feet (1 metre) between individuals while sitting or standing and 6 feet (2 metres) between tables.Bars and restaurants that do not adhere to these regulations shall pay a fine of Le500,000 for first offence and be temporarily closed if they commit a second offence. All beaches remain closed for mass events (groups exceeding 10 people) until further notice. All mass sporting activities remain banned until further notice. Mass congregation at sports/video centres remain banned until further notice. Action shall be taken against defaulters.
  • Offices:
    • Use of face masks is compulsory in all office buildings, public and private by both staff and visitors. Therefore, visitors not wearing face masks shall not be allowed into any office. Occupants of any room in an office building can only be without a face mask, if the individual is alone in the room or the occupants are at least 6 feet apart.
    • Any private (business) office that has people without face masks will pay a fine of Le500,000 in the first instance and be closed down for a subsequent offence.
    • Any government official found to be in violation of this regulation in a public building shall pay a fine of up to Le500,000 or be suspended from duty. 
  • Inter-District Travel
    • The inter-district lockdown has been lifted. Consequently, the following regulations shall apply to all inter-district travel.
      • All vehicles/ferries/boats travelling out of a district shall enter all the names of passengers in the vehicle in a vehicle manifest that shall include each individual’s name, address in the originating district and address in the district the person is going to, as well as the person’s telephone number.
      • The said manifest shall be completed in duplicate. One copy will be deposited at the checkpoint at the departure point in a district and the second copy at the arrival checkpoint.
      • Carrying passengers in a vehicle/ferry/boat engaged in inter-district travel without the passengers’ names on the manifest is an offence and will result in the driver being fined and the vehicle being detained.
      • Use of face masks by driver and passengers during inter-district travel is mandatory and violators will face the same penalties as are applicable within districts as outlined above.
      • The same regulations on number of passengers in all public transport within districts, shall apply to inter-district travel.

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