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Minister empowered to ban public gatherings

Jul 27, 2020, 12:49 PM

State House, Banjul, 24th July 2020: Following the lapse of the last 7 days State of Public Emergency declared by His Excellency, the President of the Republic pursuant to the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia, has decreed that the COVID-19 pandemic in The Gambia is now governed by Public Health (Dangerous Infectious Diseases) Protection Regulations, 2020.

These Regulations have been promulgated by the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr Ahmadou Samateh pursuant to the Public Health Act Cap 40.02 and the Quarantine Act, Cap 42.03 of the Laws of The Gambia. These Regulations are made to empower public health authorities apply all necessary health measures geared towards preventing and containing the spread of dangerous infectious diseases, including Corona virus, a press release from the Office of the President states.

Under the Regulations, the Minister is empowered to declare the whole or any part of The Gambia as an infected local area and accordingly

(a)            restrict or prohibit the movement of persons and vehicles;

(b)            order the closure of borders during the period of the restriction on movement, except for the transportation of persons performing essential  services or obtaining essential supplies;

(c)            restrict or prohibit mass gatherings of persons and order the temporary closure of public places;

(d)           construct or designate spaces as quarantine and isolation centres for travelers coming from infected areas;

(e)            order persons entering The Gambia to bear the cost of their quarantine; and

(f)             order compulsory wearing of a face mask by all persons in public places.

Furthermore, the Regulations inter-alia impose the following –

(a)     a person who has reasonable grounds to suspect that he or she has or may have been exposed to a dangerous infectious disease or who becomes aware of a suspected case, is under an obligation to disclose that fact to a health officer;

(b)   all businesses, organisations and transporters, their owners, management and staff, shall also comply with, and implement physical distancing and personal hygiene measures in their establishments;

(c)    It is an offence for a person to transmit or disseminate malicious, false or misleading information concerning a dangerous infectious disease, including COVID-19.

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