The Attorney-General, Minister of
Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, elaborated on the two Bills,
this evening, during the press briefing of the National Communication Committee
of Covid-19, and recalled that strict lockdown measures were put in place in
the country with a view of ensuring the safety of the population and preventing
the spread of the virus.
With reference to the Quarantine Bill,
he recalled that it will repeal the Quarantine Act, which dates back to the
year 1954, and re-enact a reformed and modern appropriate legislative framework
so as to provide more measures for the prevention and spread of communicable
The new legislation has been rendered
necessary on account of the impact of the novel coronavirus, pointed out the
Minister, adding that the Ministry of Health and Wellness is the Quarantine
Authority in Mauritius.
According to Mr Gobin, both Bills will
include strict sanitary measures that will be enforced in public transport,
schools, metro, offices, elevators, taxis and other
public places. These sanitary measures will also be applicable at the airport
with the arrival of repatriated Mauritians from other countries, he added.
The Minister highlighted that any
person who refuses to answer or knowingly gives a misleading answer when
questioned by a quarantine officer, will be committing an offence and may be
liable to a fine not exceeding Rs 500,000 and to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding five years. The Bill also makes provision, in certain cases, to authorise
persons to follow medical treatment in private hospitals at their own costs, he
With regard to the Court of Justice, he
said that there will be amendments that will help the Chief of Justice to issue
directives for Courts to operate under strict conditions.
The Minister cautioned the population
that individuals who are not abiding by rules will be subjected to penalties. He called for solidarity and sacrifice from
all citizens to help the country shore up its economic activities in the face of
the Covid-19 crisis.
Government Information Service, Prime
Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius.
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