Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior stressed the requirement to wear face masks outside of the home, threatening violators of the law with prison sentences and fines.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior affirmed that it is compulsory for all individuals to wear protective face masks anywhere outside of the home.
In a statement made on July 25, the ministry specifies that the regulation is in line with “a constant and continuous concern to preserve the health and safety of citizens.” The precautionary face masks measure aligns with Morocco’s comprehensive efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
As Morocco continues to ease its state of emergency measures, the country maintains legal consequences for those willing to breach public health regulations, such as the mandatory wearing of face masks.
“Anyone who violates this provision is liable to the penalties provided for in Article 4 of Decree-Law No. 2.20.292, which provides for a prison sentence of one to three months and a fine varying between 300 and 1,300 dirhams, or one of the two penalties without prejudice to the most severe criminal penalty,” reads the statement.
It adds that Moroccan authorities “will not hesitate to apply the sanctions provided for by law against any person having violated the obligation to wear a protective mask.”
The effectiveness of wearing a face mask
While wearing a mask alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical professionals stress that face masks are critical to stemming the spread of respiratory droplets which could lead to infection. In addition to wearing a mask, experts underline the equal importance of hand-washing and social distancing.
According to Stanford University medical scientist Larry Chu, “as many as 40% of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 may have no symptoms.” Wearing a face mask is not only a means of protecting one’s self, but a critical measure that could save the lives of others who are more prone to the effects of the novel coronavirus.
In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) shifted its original uncertain stance on the matter and advised all people who are unable to social distance to wear a face mask.
The UN leading health organization recommends that all people wear a three-layer fabric face mask, while people over 60 or with pre-existing health issues should wear a medical-grade mask.