Henceforth, people who fail to wear face masks in public would be committing an offence that carries a prison sentence of four to 10 years or a fine of GH¢12,000 to GH¢60,000, or both.
This was contained in a new Executive Instrument (E.I. 164) signed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on June 15, 2020, as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID -19).
Per E.I. 164, which was gazetted on Monday, June 15, and sighted by Graphic Online, the mandatory wearing of face masks shall be in force for three months and shall apply to all parts of Ghana.
The E.I. was issued by the President pursuant to the powers granted him under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012).
The new E.I. makes it mandatory for people to “wear face masks, face shields or any other face covering that covers his or her nose and mouth completely when the person is in public or leaving or returning to his place of abode.”
Paragraph 4 (1) of the E.I. 164 states that the police have the authority to make random checks to “ensure enforcement compliance”
According to paragraph 4(2) of E.I. 164, any person who fails to comply with the mandatory wearing of nose masks shall be punished in accordance with Section 6 of Act 1012.
Per Section 6 of Act 1012, “a person who fails to comply with the restrictions imposed under the Executive Instrument issued under subsection 1 of Section 2 commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 1,000 penalty unit (Gh¢12,000) and not more than 5,000 penalty units (Gh¢ 60,000) or to a term of imprisonment not less than four years and not more than 10 years or to both.”