The new COVID-19 suppression regulations will introduce several additional measures regarding the wearing of face coverings, as the Government of Montserrat continues to encourage the wearing of face coverings in public places.
The Public Health (COVID19 Suppression) (No.5) Order, S.R.O. 64 of 2020 takes effect from Sunday August 30, at 5:00a.m. and requires the owner or head of a business, organisation or department to take proactive steps to ensure persons entering their premises comply with the face covering requirement.
The order stipulates that a notice on the mandatory face covering requirement be posted in a clearly visible area at the main entrance of a place of business. The owner or head of a business, organisation or department shall not permit a customer or visitor to enter the business, if the customer or visitor is not wearing a face covering.
Additionally, the owner or head of a business, organisation or department must ensure that a customer or visitor continues to wear a face covering while in the business. If the customer refuses to wear a face covering then the owner or head must ask the customer or visitor to leave the business.
Failure to comply with these requirements is an offence and can result in the owner or head of the business, organisation or department being fined $500 or $1000 in the case of a second or subsequent offence.
In addition to the fines, a court may order the business to close for 30 days.
The wearing of face coverings is mandatory at the following places:
- A Bank;
- A Government Office;
- Clinic, Health Care Centre or Residential Care Facility;
- A grocery store or supermarket;
- An airport or seaport; and
- Any other place of business.
The persons exempted from the mandatory face covering requirement are as follows:
- A child age 3 years and under:
- A person who has a medical, health, cognitive condition, or a disability which prevents him or her from wearing a face covering;
- A customer who is dining at a restaurant or food shop;
- A customer, when that customer is dining at a bar or rum shop; and
- A person who is exercising at a gym.
The face covering must cover the persons nose, mouth and chin without gapping.
The number of persons allowed to gather in a public place, remains at 50.
To read or download the full S.R.O 64 of 2020, click on the following link : https://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/SRO-64-of-2020-PUBLIC-HEALTH-COVID-19-SUPPRESSION-No.5-ORDER.pdf
The new order expires on Monday September 28 at 5:00a.m.