Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information

Minister for Information Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has disclosed that the government and the leadership of the Ghana Police Service are in talks to apply “a purposive approach” in enforcing the wearing of face masks, in accordance with the Executive Instrument (E.I.164).

He explained that the need for a purposive approach in ensuring compliance to E.I.164 arose from calls to, for instance, take a second look at some scenarios like when individuals are in their private cars alone.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information’s weekly media briefing in Accra yesterday, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said, “We expect compliance from the public for the greater public good. We acknowledge a grey area in the law which has got to do with individuals who are in their private cars by themselves. We also acknowledge that there is a very strict interpretation that the police intend to give to such scenarios”.

“What the government is doing is engaging with the police to give the E.I. a purposive approach when applying the law, so, engagements with the police have started,” he added.

The new Executive Instrument (E.I. 164) to make the wearing of face masks mandatory, was signed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on 15 June 2020, as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID -19).

The E.I. was issued by the President pursuant to the powers granted him under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012).

Per E.I.164 (No. 10), not wearing face masks in public is an offence punishable by law.

Those found culpable could be slapped with a prison sentence of four to 10 years in prison or a fine between GHS12,000 to GHS60,000, or both.