President Major Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Coronavirus Disease Health Protection 2021 which, among other measures, make the use of face masks mandatory in public places.
A document, which emanated from the office of the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Wednesday revealed that the president signed the order on Tuesday.
The action is in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010.
Part 2 of the regulation stipulates that no person shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurants, hotels, event centres, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, motor parks, fitness centre or any other similar establishment “except he is wearing a face covering that covers the nose and mouth; he washes his hands or cleaned the hands using hand sanitiser approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control; and his body temperature has been checked. Any person found to have a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius shall be denied entry and advised to immediately seek medical attention.”
Part 1 which, deals with restrictions on gatherings, stipulates that at all gatherings, a physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons.
The document also adds, “Notwithstanding the provision of Regulation 1, no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50% capacity of the space.
“All persons in public gatherings, whether in enclosed or open spaces, shall adhere to the provisions of Part 2 of these Regulations.
“The provisions of these regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.”
According to the document, any person who contravenes the provisions of the regulations is punishable by a fine or a term of six months imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 5 of the Quarantine Act.