Middle East

Customers, mall visitors face heavy fines if they don’t wear masks

Kuwait: Yesterday, a person (right) with a sign saying “No entry without a face mask” at the front door stepped into the ministry building. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

By Nawara Fattahova

Kuwait: If staff or customers do not wear face masks, employers may be forced to pay fines of up to 5,000 KD. This decision was issued at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, but no longer applies when the country enters the fifth phase of normalization. However, for the past two weeks, this rule has been rigorously enforced by local government inspectors.

Customers and mall visitors will be punished if they remove the face mask. “Sales representatives should ask customers to wear face masks. If they refuse, sales representatives should not serve them and ask them to leave. You can also ask the guards or police officers for help. The guards will guide the offending customer to the mall’s room, where they will be taken to the police station, where the lawsuit will be registered and transferred to the court. “More,” Ibraheem Al-Sab’an, a local government inspector in Hawali, told the Kuwait Times.

“In the last two weeks, inspectors have reported 90 violations and closed 10 offending stores in all prefectures. Owners of closed stores have pledged to visit our store and reopen. You need to sign the letter. If the violations are repeated, the store will be closed for two weeks, “he said.

Meanwhile, the city of Kuwait yesterday announced that inspectors closed 1,115 stores during the crackdown to ensure that health precautions were being followed in markets around Kuwait. Faisal al-Jumer, deputy director of the capital and Jahra Governorate, said yesterday’s crackdown covered 679,552 stores, markets and malls by the inspection team.

On and off

At the start of the 2020 pandemic, all stores and facilities were required to wear face masks and gloves. No one could enter a store without a face mask in a shopping mall, and even in a supermarket, customers had to wear gloves. When vaccination campaigns began in Kuwait at the end of 2020 and mandated access to most public places in June, security guards and employees asked if people were no longer wearing face masks. I didn’t check it. The focus was only on proof of vaccination.

When the number of cases of coronavirus decreased to less than 20 at the end of summer, even confirmation of vaccination status was abandoned in most places such as stores, salons and restaurants. No official decision was made by health authorities or the Cabinet to revoke the mandatory wearing of face masks, but most people stopped wearing them.

This lasted only a few months, with a sudden increase in cases by the end of 2021 reaching record numbers. Therefore, the Cabinet has decided to implement health precautions again and strictly require that face masks be worn at all facilities.

Management procedure

A salesman at the Schweik store asked the reporter to wear a mask to avoid a fine of 5,000 KD. He said management instructed the store not to enter customers without a mask because city inspectors could impose fines. Shopping centers, grocery stores and other businesses are again tightening their face masks. City inspectors are inspecting shopping malls and markets to check the application of health measures. There are three teams of inspectors. “The evening team inspects salons, health clubs, and several markets. Next, there is a permanent fixed team in a crowded mall. And finally, randomly check different businesses at different times. We have a surprise team, which always notifies stores and businesses through notifications before the law applies, “Sab’an emphasized.

At its weekly meeting on Monday, the Cabinet introduced new restrictions following the daily surge in COVID-19 cases that came into effect yesterday. Some of these restrictions may reduce the attendance rate of the state sector to 50% or less, but the private sector should reduce the attendance rate to the lowest possible rate. The Cabinet has also appointed the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce to ensure that kindergarten and children’s club staff are fully vaccinated with COVID-19 and work on health prevention. In addition, all mass transit vehicles should apply health precautions and limit the number of passengers to 50 percent of their total occupancy, especially while wearing face masks. The Government Committee on Health Prevention Follow-up should also ensure that all staff and clients in hairdressers, salons and health spas are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/customers-mall-visitors-face-heavy-fine-if-not-wearing-masks/ Customers, mall visitors face heavy fines if they don’t wear masks

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