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Under What Law the executive Acted for the Curfew

06.04.2020

Mauritius went into “lockdown” on 20 March. Then, as from 23 March, a curfew was added to the lockdown. Just so that we all know under what law the Government proceeded with the imposition of the strict curfew, we are publishing the full text of the Regulation below, a regulation made under the Public Health Act. 


The strict curfew was lifted, as you know, on 30 March, and we are back to just the “lockdown”. 


 Why we are publishing this is so that we monitor the executive, when it acts on its own. 


 Already in Mauritius, the executive is too powerful relative to the Legislature, and with the health emergency, this tendency has increased. We must ensure that this does not become a new normal for after the health emergency recedes once the epidemic comes under control.


 Here is the text:  


 General Notice No. 512 of 2020 


THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT


Curfew Order made by the Minister under regulation 14(1) of the Prevention and Mitigation of Infectious Disease (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 


1. WHEREAS regulation 14(1) of the Prevention and Mitigation of the Infectious Disease (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 provides that the Minister may, where he is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient for the purposes of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, by curfew order, direct that, within Mauritius or within such area and during such hours as may be specified in the curfew order, no person or class of persons shall remain outdoors. 


WHEREAS regulation 14(2) of the said regulations provides that the Commissioner of Police may issue a permit to a person to be outdoors for the sole purpose of leaving his place of residence to his place of work, and leaving his place of work to his place of residence. 


2. NOW, THEREFORE, in view of the fact that I am satisfied that it is necessary and expedient for the purposes of preventing the spread of coronavirus in Mauritius, I hereby direct that no person shall, subject to this curfew order, remain outdoors in Mauritius as from 23 March 2020 at 20 00 hrs until 02 April 2020 at 20 00 hrs. [In fact, the curfew was lifted on 30 March, when we went back to the lockdown, i.e. a lockdown but with grocery shops and supermarkets open again – if on limited basis – but with only essential service workers allowed to circulate at all, and very limited public transport.]


3. However, the following classes of persons may be outdoors for the sole purpose of leaving their place of residence to their place of work, and leaving their place of work to their place of residence – 


(a) such judicial officers in respect of such minimum judicial services as the Chief Justice deems essential, and such employees of the public sector, including Ministries and Government departments, public enterprises and statutory bodies, providing essential services to the public as may be designated by the Head of the public bodies concerned; and 


(b) employees of the private sector providing strictly essential minimum services. 


4. The Commissioner of Police may, subject to such terms and conditions as he may impose, issue permits to the persons referred to in paragraph 3 above where he is satisfied that the presence of such persons at their place of work is essential for the provision of minimum services. 


5. Nothing in a permit issued by the Commissioner of Police shall exempt any employer from his statutory obligations pertaining to safety and health of his employees under any enactment which may be applicable. 


6. This curfew order is being issued in the interest of public health and to protect the Mauritian population. Members of the public are urged to be self-disciplined and to cooperate with the authorities and not to remain outdoors unless their presence outside their homes is strictly necessary to avail themselves of urgent medical treatment, essential supplies, foodstuff, medicine or any other item essential for their subsistence or livelihood. 


7. Any person who – 


(a) is found outdoors in breach of this curfew order;


 (b) is found outdoors for a purpose other than availing himself of urgent medical treatment, essential supplies, foodstuff, medicine or any other item essential for his subsistence or livelihood; or 


(c) breaches any condition of a permit issued by the Commissioner of Police, shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding 500 rupees and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months. 


8. This curfew order shall lapse on 02 April 2020 at 20 00 hrs.  


DR. K. K. S. JAGUTPAL Minister of Health and Wellness 22 March 2020