Not wearing a mask in Tamil Nadu? You will now be fined ₹500

By Special Correspondent
Photograph used for representational purposes only (Source: The Hindu)

The Tamil Nadu government has increased the fine for not wearing of masks covering the mouth and nose in public places, from ₹200 to ₹500. The notification for revising the fine amount was issued on January 12.

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain offences were declared as compoundable under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act 1939 in 2020, and not wearing of masks in public places, was one of them.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said that till now, roughly about ₹105 crore has been collected as fines for violations of COVID-19 norms in the State.

“There is a genuine concern among people about the increase of COVID-19 cases. But this is not translating into the right kind of behaviour and adherence to public measures such as avoiding crowded areas. The basic requirement is to wear masks and maintain physical distancing norms. People need to understand how Omicron spreads. Most of those infected are asymptomatic,” he said.

Masking was a public health measure to prevent the spread of the disease, he said, adding that this was why places such as Delhi had already increased the fine amount. “We found that despite monitoring and enforcement, the compliance was poor. So from now on, people can be fined if they do not wear masks properly. Officers, including health inspectors, sanitary inspectors and police inspectors who are authorised to impose fines, have been told to collect the revised amount,” he added.

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