Public health order in Seychelles mandates masks on public transport, crowded spaces

A new public health order now in effect in Seychelles makes wearing a mask mandatory while riding on public transport and in places where sufficient distancing is not possible, said a top health official.
Dr. Jude Gedeon told a press conference on Thursday that the regulation is based on the Public Health Act 2015 making it “mandatory for all persons in Seychelles to wear masks in the stated places and circumstances.”
Under the new regulation, which came into force on Monday, it is mandatory to wear masks on all public transportation which includes buses, ferries, taxis and other means of transportation.
Masks also have to be worn in all indoor places where a one-metre physical distancing cannot be maintained.
“If the place does activities that have cross interaction between people like in a queue and where the physical distancing cannot be maintained it is mandatory to wear a mask,” said Gedeon.  
The act includes places such as financial institutions, customer service centres, retail shops or outlets, funeral places, meeting rooms and cinemas among others.
The same applies to outdoor places like sports venues, markets and bus terminals.
The regulation is available on the Department of Health website. He said that like every regulation there will be enforcement and this will be done by the police. 
The penalties for non-compliance is a spot fine of SCR100 ($6) for not wearing a mask in the places and circumstances stipulated. A person found guilty of an offence under the regulation shall be liable to a fine of SCR1,000 ($56) or imprisonment to a term not exceeding three months.   
Gedeon added that the Public Health emergency committee is concerned about the disregard for the guidelines in place, especially in the past few weeks.
“There are uncontrolled gatherings and close contacts. We have said before and I repeat we don’t know if there are people with COVID-19 in the community… if we can’t maintain those safety practices we will see community spread before we even know that it is happening,” he said.
He said that although it is now mandatory to wear masks in places where it is deemed necessary, this is not being respected.
Meanwhile, Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has five active cases after an Indian national who was in a quarantine facility tested positive for COVID-19.
Source: Seychelles News Agency