According to a new Executive Instrument (E.I. 164), which was signed by President Akufo-Addo on June 15, 2020, persons who fail to wear face masks in public could face a jail term of between 4 and 10 years or pay a fine of between GHS12,000 and GHS60,000 or both.
This E.I, however, affects every individual who is seen in public places without a face mask including drivers who drive alone.
The Executive Instrument states that the police have the authority to make random checks to “ensure enforcement compliance” and some drivers are already having issues with the police for not wearing masks while driving alone in their cars.
Most of the drivers are of the view that “it does not make sense” for them to wear face masks when they are driving alone in their cars and rolled up with their air conditioners on.
According to them, driving in their cars alone is equivalent to being in a personal space and they do not need to wear a face mask.
However, according to Shiella Abayie Buckman, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, the law “does not give an exemption for being in a car and having rolled up”.
She indicated that the law affects every individual who is leaving or returning to their home, and so, a driver using a public road is regarded as being in a public place, and as such, should wear a face mask or face prosecution.
Ghanaian drivers on social media are not very happy with the law and its interpretation. They have lashed out at the government and the Ghana Police Service for a passing and enforcing a law which “does not make sense.”
Here’s what some of them have been saying:
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