Reeling under backlash from citizens and businesses, the Karnataka government has slashed the fines imposed for violators of Covid-19 guidelines such as wearing mask and maintaining physical distance in shops, hotels, party halls, cinema halls, shopping malls and other public places, an official said on Thursday.
“Under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Regulations, 2020, any owner of public place who allows violation of the regulations at his premises shall be liable for a fine of Rs 5,000-10,000," state Health Secretary Jawaid Akhtar said in a notification.
The fines have been reduced from a whopping Rs 10,000 up to Rs 1 lakh imposed when the coronavirus pandemic was rising by the day since June and the Covid-induced lockdown was eased and businesses were opened up to revive economic activity across the southern state.
Rs 5,000 fine will be levied from violators of non-air-conditioned party halls and department stores and Rs 10,000 from air-conditioned party halls, branded shops and shopping malls.
Hotels of 3-star and above, marriage or convention halls and organsiers of public functions will be slapped Rs 10,000 penalty.
The notification also clarified that a person travelling alone in a car with its windows shut need not wear a mask and will not be fined by the police hereafter.
“If car windows are open, then wearing a mask is mandatory for the driver and the passengers," said the order.
Self-service hotels, eateries, small stores and street vendors will be fined Rs 5,000 if Covid guidelines are violated by them or their customers.