The Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic Risk Management) Regulations, 2020, came into effect Tuesday.
The regulations were attached to the proclamation of a state of emergency.
The regulations cease when the state of emergency comes to an end.
The regulations are not dissimilar to the existing emergency orders, providing for “health officers” to detain and isolate individuals exhibiting symptoms of the virus or suspected to be infected with the virus.
The regulations stipulate that providing false information to a health officer, failure to comply with conditions of isolation or absconding, as well as attempts to abscond isolation is an offense liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $250 or a term of imprisonment up to two years.
According to the regulations, someone who knowingly has the virus and caused another to be exposed or infected has committed an offense subject, upon conviction, to a fine of $1,000 in respect to each person who has been exposed or infected.
The regulations also include powers for the competent authority, defined as the prime minister, to requisition any building, ship or aircraft.
It provides for the governor general to requisition by writing essential services “where it is reasonably required” and appoint a person as “controller of any essential service”.
An essential service is defined as any government-maintained, operated or established services.
The regulations also authorize the competent authority to waive procurement rules and fees; revoke or suspend the use of public open spaces; prohibit assembly; impose social distancing or isolation; and introduce curfews or restrictions of access to any area.
The regulations provide for the power to stop, detain and arrest; prohibit the publication of untrue or false information that may incite public fear, panic or ethnic hatred; suspend or any enactments.
In order to maintain public order, provide essential services or store and safekeep relief supplies, the governor general is empowered to authorize the government to request international or regional military or police forces.
“Any persons who contravene the provisions of any of these regulations or any order made or notice given thereunder or incites or attempts to incite any other person to contravene any of these regulations or any order made or notice given thereunder commits an offense and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to a term of imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months of both,” it read.