The Palestinian government warned today that as of tomorrow, Tuesday, people who violate COVID-19 health measures will be severely penalized.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said at the start of the weekly Palestinian cabinet meeting that he has asked the governors, security forces and health ministry staff to start inspection visits of shops and businesses to make sure they apply the COVID-19 health measures, including wearing masks and social distancing.
He said shop keepers, worshippers, public employees, both civil and security, NGOs, coffee shops and restaurant staff and customers, municipalities, companies, courts, clinics, hair dressers and offices have to abide by the safety measures required by the Ministry of Health in order to stop the spread of the disease, warning that violators will penalized and forced to pay fines as called for in the law.
“We are facing today new cases of coronavirus, most of which were caused by contact with infected people from the 1948 territories (Israel),” he said, adding, “We have brought life back to normal on condition of compliance with public safety measures, but the majority are not observing them.”
The government ended on May 27 a two-month lockdown after a drop in corona-infected cases in the West Bank and allowed all businesses to resume as normal.
Shtayyeh expressed concern of the recent surge in the number of corona cases, stating that the government did not announce an end to the first wave of coronavirus pandemic since neighboring countries are reporting a rise in the number of infected cases, “which affects us directly and indirectly.”