South African government is warning residents that those who are found not wearing masks in public will be fined.
As the country shifted to Alert Level 4 of lockdown restrictions, wearing masks in public areas was made compulsory for all citizens. Despite these regulations, however, a number of locals are still not wearing masks when they leave their homes for essential shopping.
According to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, no person is allowed to use public transport without a mask either.
While the amount of the fine has not been released, Durban-based attorney Theasen Pillay told SABC News that it would be hefty.
“My advice to anyone is … from the time you leave home, put on a mask. Regardless of where you are going, in whatever mode [of transport] you are traveling in. If you are at work, if you are in public in any forum, until the time that you return [home], keep the mask on. It will not only remove the risk of a very hefty fine, but it will drastically reduce the chance of infection, which is ultimately the goal of this entire proceedings and our lifestyle currently,” said Pillay.
In many places across South Africa, residents have been ignoring pleas to wear masks or adhere to social distancing rules. Some people in the North West do not believe that these methods help prevent the spread of the virus and refuse to adhere.
As the lockdown continues, residents are urged to take the regulations seriously and always wear masks in public to avoid being fined and to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In the case where someone can not afford to buy a mask, any other item that covers the mouth and nose such as a scarf or shirt will work.