House passes covid19 bill

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi at Parliament  - Angelo Marcelle
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi at Parliament - Angelo Marcelle

Cinemas have been added to the list of places where gatherings are forbidden or which must close completely.

Under the new law passed on Friday morning in the House of Representatives, the fines for bars and clubs that breach the restrictions were raised.

The bill also amends other legislation.

Documents issued by the Licensing Division which are about to expire will now be valid until August 31, 2020. This applies to driving permits, taxi driver badges, inspection certificates and others.

This is to help keep people from congregating at licensing offices to renew their documents.

Similar extensions were applied to documents under the Companies Act, and the companies, land and birth and death registries.

At an extraordinary sitting of the House, the Opposition voted in support of the Miscellaneous Provisions (2019 Novel Corona Virus (2019-nCoV) Bill.

The Prime Minister announced the restrictions after a special Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi piloted the bill.

He pointed out the fine for breaching the public health ordinance, which dates back to 1917, was $480 and six months' imprisonment. The new legislation will increase the fine to $50,000.

The bill was passed with all 37 members voting for it.

The restrictions will be in effect until April 20.


"House passes covid19 bill"

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