Government is engaging the police to revise their interpretation of the Executive Instrument on the mandatory wearing of face masks by citizens, the Minister of Information has announced.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told journalists on Tuesday, June 23 that government has taken cognizance of arrests of persons not wearing the face masks while driving alone.
The powers of the police emanate from EI 164 No. 10, which makes the wearing of face masks, face shield or any other face covering that covers the nose and mouth completely mandatory when in public and leaving or returning to places of abode.
But many have raised concerns about this, saying it is too harsh especially when alone in one’s car.
“What government is doing is that we are engaging with the police to give the EI a purposive interpretation when they apply it,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said on Tuesday.
He said the interpretation by the law enforcers is what is generating the controversy.
In his Update Number 12 on Sunday, June 14 after Ghana’s case count had reached almost 12,000, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo warned that it was going to be an offence on the part of citizens to go out without face masks.
“With doctors and scientists telling us the virus is transmitted from human contact through talking, singing, coughing and sneezing, which results in sending droplets of the virus from one person to another, residents of these four regions and indeed all Ghanaians must remember that the wearing of masks is now mandatory,” President Akufo-Addo stated.
“Leaving our homes without our face masks or face covering on is an offence. The police have been instructed to enforce this directive which is the subject of an Executive Instrument (EI).”
Anyone found guilty of not wearing a face mask that completely covers his nose and mouth, per E.I 164, faces either a fine of not less than GH¢12,000 and not more than GH¢60,000 or a minimum of four years in jail or a maximum of 10 years.