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Qatar makes face masks mandatory at shops, offices

As Qatar intensifies its fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the country’s Cabinet has announced additional measures to curb the spread of the infectious disease.

At its regular meeting today, chaired by His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, the Cabinet decided to make the wearing of face masks mandatory at all offices and shops.

The meeting was held through video conferencing technology. After the meeting, HE the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi shared an overview of the meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, HE the Minister of Public Health shared the latest progress involving efforts to contain COVID-19. The Cabinet reiterated the significance of observing all precautionary measures in this regard.

Furthermore, the Cabinet took the following decisions:

Working Hours during Ramadan

1. The official working hours during the holy month of Ramadan for the year 1441 AH for employees and workers will be:

– for the government sector: four hours per day. Work hours will begin at 9 am and end at 1 pm.

– for the private sector: six hours a day. Work hours will start at 9 am and end at 3 pm. 

2. The above timings do not apply to the stores of foodstuffs, pharmacies, and restaurants working on deliveries and the contracting sector. Additionally, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, jointly with the relevant authorities, will decide which other sectors will be exempted from this decision.

3. The previous exceptions decided by the Cabinet in terms of working hours will continue.

Wearing Face Masks

1. Employees in the government and private sectors, whose nature of work involves providing services to the public and clients must wear face masks when on duty. It has also been made compulsory for their clients to wear face masks.

Accordingly, officials in the government and private sectors must ensure adherence to this decision and other safety measures and block the entry of such clients.

2. All shoppers are obliged to wear face masks prior to entering any food or catering stores, as well as during shopping. Store in charge, and those responsible for the stores, must make sure they do not permit the entry of any shoppers without a face mask. 

3. Workers in the contracting sector must also wear face masks while performing duties and tasks. The officials in this sector should provide these masks and ensure the implementation of required precautionary measures.

4. In the case of non-compliance with this decision, the penalties stipulated in Decree Law No. (17) for the year 1990 regarding the prevention of infectious diseases will be applied to the offender. These include imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding QR 200,000, or one of these two penalties.

5. This decision is effective from  April 26, 2020 until further notice.

Meanwhile, health authorities in Qatar continue to implement the highest level of monitoring, detection, and management procedures to deal with the virus, the public has been advised to follow certain measures to safeguard their health.

For any queries, or concerns related to COVID-19 in Qatar, the public can contact a 24/7 hotline set up by the Ministry. The hotline number is 16000 and is toll-free.

 

Source: Qatar Living

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