Kerala has made wearing masks in public and workplaces mandatory in an Ordinance issued on the new amendments to the Epidemic Diseases Act it has made, amid growing indications that the state is approaching community transmission phase of COVID-19.
It said that only 50 people will be allowed to attend a marriage and a maximum of 20 people can take part in death ceremonies. Violation of the amendments will result in a fine of up to Rs 10,000 and a jail term of two years.
The Ordinance is intended to make stringent and strictly implement the restrictions meant to fight the pandemic. The amendments will be valid for a year or till a new order is issued and make some of the existing COVID restrictions a legal requirement. The key amendments are,
1. Wearing masks is compulsory in public places, work places, vehicles, and places where people gather.
2. Social distancing of six feet should be maintained at all times at public places and events.
3. There shouldn’t be more than 25 people at a time in shops and other business establishments. The business owners should make sanitisers available for use by customers before entering the shop
4. Only a maximum of 50 people will be allowed at a time for marriages. Everyone should wear a mask and maintan social distancing.
5. Sanitisers should be provided. For death ceremonies, not more than 20 people will be permitted.
6. Strikes, dharnas, marches and protests will need prior permission from the state government. If permission is granted only 10 people can take part
7. Those coming to Kerala from any place will have to register themselves with the Revenue Department’s Jagratha portal