Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services in South Africa has stated that not wearing a mask in public is a criminal offence. Lamola said in a ministerial media briefing on Monday 13th that the government has taken steps to criminalise the offence, as many of South African citizens still do not adhere to the compulsory regulation of wearing a mask in public, taxis and when shopping to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“It has made the lives of members of the public difficult including law enforcement officers’ lives very difficult if people are not wearing a mask in a particular place.” and he also indicated that the new regulation to wear a mask in public does “not differentiate between a fine and imprisonment. Both of them do give you some kind of criminal offence”
If you are not wearing a cloth face mask, homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth, you will not be allowed to;
- Use, operate, perform any service on any form of public transport;
- Enter or be in a building, place or premises, including government buildings, places or premises, used by the public to obtain goods or services; or
- Be in any public open space,
The mentioned above, according to the published Government Gazette do not apply to a person who undertakes a vigorous exercise in a public place, provided that the person maintains a distance of at least three metres from any other person, and subject to directions on what is considered to be vigorous, issued by the Cabinet member responsible for health.
Wearing a mask in South Africa is now compulsory.