As infection rates continue to increase in some countries around the world, mask-wearing is one of the best tools we have to protect one another. PHOTO by Pexels

Renewed tougher rules around the world as Covid-19 spreads

19 states in the US require residents to wear a mask outside at all times when social distancing isn’t possible, and also face penalties if they don’t abide by the rules.

DURBAN – South Africans can find solace in knowing that the renewed lockdown restrictions are not only taking place here but also in other countries, as authorities sought to control a resurgence of Coronavirus cases. 

In England, wearing a face-covering in shops and supermarkets is to become mandatory from July 24. Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to R2 090,78 (£100), the United Kingdom government announced. The new rule comes as the UK recorded the deaths of a further 138 people who had tested positive for Coronavirus. The move will bring England into line with Scotland and other major European nations like Spain, Italy and Germany.

A state in Australia is toughening its punishments for anyone caught violating coronavirus quarantines, including jailing rule breakers for up to six months. The new warning comes amid rising virus cases worldwide and violations of restrictions that are now being further tightened in many places battling to contain Covid-19 infections.

Meanwhile, 47 out of 50 US states have some form of face mask guidelines in place, 21 of those have implemented orders that make it mandatory to wear them in public.

The most strict mask requirements exist in a total of 19 states, where residents are required to wear a mask outside at all times when social distancing isn’t possible, and also face penalties if they don’t abide by the rules.

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Sunday where he announced mandatory face masks in public places and an overnight curfew. Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said people who fail to adhere to the mandatory wearing of a mask will have a criminal record if found guilty by the court.

He said the person would be charged with contravention of the regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act, and may possibly face a fine. 

The new restrictions and lockdowns follow similar measures around the globe as the virus has flared up again from to India and Japan, prompting measures from bar and restaurant closures to wide-scale lockdowns involving tens of millions of people.

Facing its own uptick in infections, Belgium on Wednesday postponed a further easing of rules on social gatherings as the country’s prime minister said she could not rule out the reintroduction of lockdowns in areas worst affected.

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