Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sept 4, 2020, announced
at a press conference that there has been no directive issued by the
Health Ministry regarding having to wear masks while driving
alone. This clarification has come in the wake of policemen penalising
and prosecuting people found driving without masks.
Bhushan further added that people who are cycling, walking or jogging
alone also don’t need to wear a mask. Those who choose to carry out
these activities in groups of twos and threes need to wear a mask
without fail, to ensure that other people around them do not
He further added that cyclists, as well as those walking or jogging
alone, don’t need to wear a mask. It is for those who choose to carry
out these activities in groups need to wear a mask without fail, to ensure that other people around them do not get infected.
According to reports, Delhi police have been issuing challans for
two-wheeler riders for not having a mask on. On Aug 25, 2020, Delhi
Police had tweeted: “Some concerns have been raised on issuing challans to a driver when he or she is alone in a vehicle. DDMA order dated 13th June permits Delhi Police to challan an individual not wearing a mask in a public place.”
So far, about 1.8 lakh people have been fined by the Delhi Police for
those failing to do the same, the penalty for which is Rs 500
on-the-spot fine under a rule stated by the Delhi Epidemic Diseases
(Management of COVID 19) Regulations, 2020. Up until now, the Delhi
Police have collected a total amount of Rs 9.42 crores in fines. A
similar situation prevails in several other states such as Haryana,
Punjab and many more. However, this clarification by the Union Health
Ministry should now end this confusion.