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(DNO) – Dominica has officially made the wearing of masks mandatory in public places.

Acting Deputy Chief of Police, Davidson Valerie, made the announcement during a press conference on Wednesday night.

According to Valerie, everyone will be required to use a mask while riding a bus, car or taxi or any public transportation.

“The Environmental Health Services Covid-19 Amendment Regulations 2020 has made it mandatory that everyone wears a mask or a suitable covering over the nose and mouth,” he said.

The Deputy Chief said individuals are also required to wear a mask in public buildings including supermarkets, retail and wholesale commercial establishments, bars, markets or any other similar business.

“Other public spaces including parks and beaches,” he added.

Persons who fail to wear a mask will be charged $75.

Valerie went on to say that a police officer or the owner of the premises that a person has entered or is seeking to enter, may request anyone to remove or adjust his mask or suitable covering for identification purposes.

He said no person shall host a gathering of more than 50 persons unless the person has written permission from the Chief of Police.

“An applicant requesting permission to host an event must ensure that all the necessary information is captured on the event application form,” he explained. “The application form must ensure that his name, home address, telephone number or numbers and any other information as may be requested by the Chief of Police, are documented.”

Application forms for that purpose, he said, are available at Discover Dominica Authority (DDA).

“On receipt of the prescribed application form, a monitoring and approval team comprising  personnel of the Dominica Police Force and the Ministry of Health will inspect each venue prior to approval,” Valerie stated.

Anyone found in breach of the regulations will be charged $10,000 or be sent to prison for one year.

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