Hefty lockdown violation fines revealed

03 April 2020 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



People who flout the lockdown rules during the coronavirus state of emergency could be fined up to N$2 000.

This is in accordance with new criminal charges announced by the office of the prosecutor-general.

Namibia is currently in partial lockdown for three weeks, with travel restrictions in the Khomas Region (plus Okahandja and Rehoboth) and Erongo. Other emergency regulations apply to the entire country.

Under the new charges a person can be fined up to N$2 000 for organising a public gathering during the lockdown period.

The same fine is payable for failing or refusing to obey the instructions of an authorised officer dispersing a public gathering.

The maximum fine of N$2 000 will also apply to people charged with entering or leaving a restricted area such as the Khomas and Erongo regions without a permit, and for traveling from one restricted area to another without a permit.

Other charges a person can face are: failure to confine oneself in a place of residence without lawful justification, selling alcohol during the lockdown period, operating a business that is not classified as critical, and operating informal trade such as shebeens, bars, pubs or nightclubs.

Restaurants, cafes, or coffee shops will also be fined if they serve anything other than take-aways.

Furthermore, a person will be charged for falsely impersonating an authorised officer, hindering or obstructing an officer in the performance of their duties, improperly attempting to influence an officer in the performance of his duties, furnishing false or misleading information to an officer and doing anything to improperly influence an officer in their functions.

For any of the abovementioned charges a person can be fined a maximum amount of N$2 000.



Emergency regulations

According to the state of emergency regulations published in the Government Gazette, alcohol may not be sold and no bars, shebeens, nightclubs, open markets and informal trading activities may operate during the lockdown period.

Furthermore, all shops and businesses except those classified as critical services must stay closed.

People may not leave or enter the Khomas and Erongo regions during the lockdown period, except to transport goods, distribute food or other necessities for life, perform medical and health services, perform an action necessary for the enforcement of laws or public order, to maintain or repair water, electricity, communication or financial services infrastructure or to perform other critical services.

According to the regulations everyone must be confined to their homes, except if they have to perform critical services, obtain essential goods or services, need medical attention, or if they need to visit pharmacies, food shops, banks or courts.

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