New measures announced by Gambia Government have prohibited public gatherings at weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies among other public gatherings as the country battles with Covid-19 pandemic which is now getting out of control. According to Government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh in a press statement, the new powers are conferred on the Minister of Health.
The statement said: “In exercise of the powers conferred on the Minister of Health by ‘Regulation No. 6’ of the Public Health (Dangerous Infectious Diseases) Protection Regulations, 2020,the Gambia Government announces the compulsory wearing of face masks, temporary closure of non-essential public places and the prohibition of public and social gatherings.
Effective immediately, these new Regulations will subsist for a period of 90 days subject to expert review and modification by the Health Minister at anytime as dictated by the circumstances and trajectory of the Covid-19 virus in The Gambia.
Citation of face masking order
This Order may be cited as the Compulsory Wearing of Face Masks Order, 2020 and is governed by the following regulations:
1. All persons shall wear a face mask over their nose and mouth in all public places and at all times.
2. A driver of a motor vehicle or operator of a ferry or vessel shall ensure that all passengers wear a face mask before embarking on the vehicle, ferry or vessel.
3. The owner or manager of a public or private premises or shops shall ensure that all persons entering such premises or shops wear a face mask.
4. The Area Council or Municipality of every area where a market is situated shall ensure that all persons entering a market wear a face mask.
5. In this Order, “public place” includes any public or highway and any other premises or place(s) to which at the material time, members of the public have or are permitted to have access.
The following persons are exempt from the wearing of face masks –
a) Children under the age of two;
b) Persons with a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a face mask;
c) Persons who are hearing impaired, or are communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, and where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
d) Persons who are unable to put on or remove a face mask without assistance.
Violation of this order
A person who violates this Order commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of One Thousand Dalasis.
Similarly, consistent with the powers vested in The Health Minister by the same law, Regulation No.6 of the Public Health (Dangerous Infectious Diseases) Protection Regulations, 2020, The Gambia Government declares with immediate effect the temporary closure of all Non-Essential Public Places for90 days.
Citation of temporary closure of non-essential public places
This Order may be cited as the Temporary Closure of Non-Essential Public Places Order, 2020
1. It is hereby ordered that all non-essential public places are temporarily closed.
2. In this Order, non-essential public places include –
a) Bars and pubs;
b) Sit-in restaurants;
c) Cinemas and video clubs;
d) Gymnasia &swimming pools
e) Night clubs and music lounges;
f) Group events at beaches;
g) Casinos, gaming parlours; and
h) Sporting fields.
Prohibition of public gatherings
It is hereby ordered that the following are prohibited –
a) Public gatherings for events such as naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals and other social events;
b) Children roaming the streets unaccompanied by an adult.
Violation of this order
A person who violates this Order commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of one thousand dalasis.”