Thiruvananthapuram: Soon, you could face penal action if found not wearing masks in public places.
The Kerala cabinet has decided to issue an ordinance on an urgent basis, making wearing masks in public places mandatory and empowering concerned authorities in its strict implementation.
The Kerala Public Health ordinance will be reissued with the relevant provisions and sent for Governor's nod.
Though there is a direction to don masks as part of efforts to prevent the Covid-19 spread, a large majority refuses to adhere to the safety precaution even in public places. The police, too, couldn't strictly implement the direction and take penal action in the absence of an ordinance in force. This has compelled the authorities to take up the urgent measure.
Instead of the ordinance, a bill was presented in the legislative assembly last October and was sent for the consideration of the Select Committee. However, the committee sought more time for seeking public opinion and other measures, resulting in the absence of the public health law in force at present.
The above ordinance was earlier submitted to the Governor along with other draft statutes for re-notification. However, the same was among the lot returned by the Governor, citing repeated issuance of the same ordinances.