If you’re going out for a walk in public and are not wearing a mask, you will be fined LL50,000. This decision takes effect starting Friday the 29th of May and the Interior Ministry is even asking people to report via their hotline 112 anyone who is not respecting the guidelines.

On the same day, the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, announced that one million face masks will be distributed for free.

I have mixed feelings about this decision. Wearing face masks will help reduce the virus spread but we cannot fine everyone who’s not wearing it, especially when some people cannot afford buying one. Distributing face masks should be done to all Lebanese, especially that their cost is minimal, and awareness campaigns should be initiated across the country along with police patrols to encourage people to wear masks and do the right thing, instead of intimidating them with fines.

More importantly, I want to see the Interior ministry fine politicians or policemen not wearing masks as well as citizens, because that’s always the case in Lebanon. We come up with new rules and fines, and always fail to implement them properly.