The amendments facilitate the enforcement of wearing face masks by simplifying legal and administrative procedures.
Rabat – Morocco’s Parliament has unanimously adopted a bill to complement Decree-Law 2.20.292 relating to the obligation of wearing face masks in public.
Both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors approved the legal text during a joint meeting on Friday, August 7.
Decree-Law 2.20.292, first adopted on March 23, provides a legal framework for the preventive measures that came along with the state of health emergency, as well as the penalties awaiting offenders.
During Friday’s meeting, Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit gave a presentation on Decree-Law 2.20.292 and its complementary bill.
Article 4 of the decree-law provides for prison sentences ranging from one to three months and a fine of MAD 300 ($32) to MAD 1,300 ($140), or one of the two, Laftit recalled.
The minister explained that the government developed newly-approved legal text after noticing that citizens began to slack off in terms of wearing face masks in public.
In the first months of Morocco’s state of health emergency, from March to May, the majority of citizens only left their homes in cases of necessity, regularly avoided gatherings, and wore face masks, Laftit said.
However, after Morocco witnessed eased lockdown measures in June, “there was a relaxation in the respect of preventive measures, especially the wearing of face masks in public,” the minister added.
Possibility of immediate fines
The newly-adopted bill aims to simplify the enforcement of punishments against those not wearing face masks in Morocco.
The legal text provides for a fixed fine of MAD 300 to be paid immediately at the time of the infraction in order to avoid trial, “while taking into consideration the principle of proportionality between the offense and the sanction,” Laftit explained. The immediate fine simplifies the procedure following infractions and allows offenders to avoid going to court.
If the offenders are unable to or refuse to pay the fine, they have to appear in court within the following 24 hours.