People who do not wear a mask when leaving their home in Qatar will face a sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $ 55,000 as of today, after the official announcement of the tightening of containment measures for the spread of the coronavirus in that country in the Persian Gulf.
The decision, adopted last Thursday by the Ministry of the Interior, establishes that as of today it is “mandatory to wear a mask when leaving the house for any reason, except for people traveling in an unaccompanied vehicle.”
The authorities assured that they will take “all necessary measures” against violators of this rule, which can be punished with a maximum of three years in prison and / or a fine of 200,000 Qatari rials (about $ 55,000).
In the past few days, the emirate registered a notable increase in cases, with 30,972 infected, 3,788 of whom have recovered, although as of May 16 only 15 people had died from COVID-19.
Qatar, with a population of less than three million people, has the highest infection rate of the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, with around 1% of the population infected, according to a comparative analysis by the agency of EFE news.
Since the beginning of March, schools, universities, leisure centers and mosques, as well as transport and other public services, have been closed to avoid infections, but some key sectors such as construction have not stopped.
The Qatari Interior Ministry warned last week that during the holy month of Ramadan it was difficult to promote social distancing due to traditional family gatherings, but authorities urged citizens to report any violation of preventive measures.