The new law which also permits fines also includes restrictions like the prohibition of shaking hands and not maintaining at least six feet distance with other people.
As part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus which according to health officials was on a steady rise, the authorities considered it imperative to enforce the new law following the complacent attitude of the citizens towards safety protocols.
The Health Minister, Lia Tadesse also expressed worry at the state of affairs in a Twitter post, “It is as if Covid is no longer there, the public is not taking care. This will cause a possible increase in the spread of the disease and might be a threat to the nation.”
The new law comes at the end of a five- month state of emergency which compelled the wearing of face masks at public gatherings which began in April.
It would be recalled that earlier in the year, reports confirmed that over 1,000 people were arrested in Addis Ababa for violating state of emergency as they did not wear face masks.
Ethiopia, presently with the third highest number of infected cases in the continent, has now ramped up efforts to begin the manufacture of Covid-19 test kits as well as export to other African countries.