COVID -19: Persons who fail to wear nose mask risk prosecution




Persons who fail to adhere to preventive protocols as part of measures to contain and curtail the spread of the coronavirus may face a jail term of six months. 

Offenders are also liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than one hundred penalty units. 


Head of Public Health at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Florence Kuukyi disclosed this on Tuesday when officials of the assembly embarked on an exercise to ensure that the public health safety protocols issued by President Akufo-Addo were being adhered to.


"Section 170 of the Public Health Act, 2012    ( Act 851) mandates the "Minister to direct a public health official to respond immediately to a public health emergency and may order an individual to take preventive measures or be quarantined or risk a  summary conviction to a fine of not more than one hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than six months or to both as stipulated in section (44) of the Act, " she said. 


She pointed out that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 had been declared as a public health emergency issue the general public was entreated to wear a nose mask anytime they move out from their homes as well as observe social distancing. 


She said the wearing of the mask was made mandatory because it would help "reduce the high risk of the infection, contamination and transmission of the virus."


She reiterated that persons who are required to wear a nose mask at all times include food vendors and sellers at markets, commercial vehicle drivers and attendants, commuters on public transports, persons in public and commercial centres, facilities and buildings,   commercial centres but not limited to offices, bars, workshops, restaurants, sports arenas and spas, salons, shopping malls, churches, clinics and hospitals and all other facilities accessible to the public whether privately or publicly owned.


She urged all and sundry to continuously wash their hands and sanitize, observe social distancing as well as wear nose masks and comply with all the preventive protocols to curtail and contain the spread of the virus in the city. 


Meanwhile, five shops at the Kaneshie market was today locked by officials of the Public Health Department of the assembly for not complying with the preventive protocols of providing handwashing facilities. 


They were given a 48-hour ultimatum to comply or face prosecution.