Not wearing a mask in public places in Uttarakhand can land you in jail for 6 months and cost you a fine of Rs 5,000, the state government declared on Saturday as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Wearing a mask is mandatory in all states while stepping outside - many have announced that not wearing one will cost you a fine.
The ordinance was approved by Governor Baby Rani Maurya on Saturday. Uttarakhand also made quarantine rules stricter as cases in the tourism-dependent state crossed 1,700 with at least 21 deaths. Section 2 and 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 has been amended to make facemasks mandatory in the state. It is the third state after Kerala and Odisha to make changes to the act.
The strict decision was taken after a number of people in the state were found roaming the streets and markets without masks, violating lockdown rules.
The new rule came into effect from Saturday. Ahmedabad too had imposed a fine Rs 5,000 for not wearing a mask.
Earlier, Delhi ruled that not wearing a mask will incur a fine of up to Rs 1,000 while in Uttar Pradesh the fine is up to Rs 500. Chhattisgarh too imposed a fine of Rs 100 for not wearing a mask.
Petrol pumps across Odisha in April came out with a stringent rule - no mask, no fuel - to strictly enforce the government's order making wearing of face masks mandatory while going out.