Covid-19: All must now wear mask in public in Bengaluru

All must wear mask in public, except children under 5, in Bengaluru as BBMP tightens Covid-19 rules

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has issued new guidelines on who needs to wear masks and under what circumstances

Police fine those not wearing masks at Shivajinagar in Bengaluru on Saturday. Credit: DH Photo/Pushkar V

Days after the high court directed the state government to strictly enforce the rules to contain Covid-19, the BBMP on Tuesday issued new guidelines specifying who needs to wear masks and under what circumstances. 

According to a BBMP order, masks are mandatory for four-wheeler motorists whether or not they are driving alone and whether or not windows are closed. A single rider on a two-wheeler without a pillion rider is also required to wear a mask at all times. 

The order also recommends that “children below five years of age need not wear masks… as it can be difficult for very young children to wear masks.” 

The change in regulations was made after the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee sought clarifications. 

The order also clarifies that “everyone should wear a mask whenever they are in public with few exceptions. Use of masks is particularly important in environments where there is a higher risk of virus transmission. These include indoor environments and particularly those with” closed or confined spaces with poor ventilator, crowded places and close-contact settings. 

The order also clarifies that specific types of masks are mandatory for certain categories. Three-layered medical masks are required to be used by those infected with Covid-19 and caregivers for home care. Face masks are required to be worn by family members or contacts, people in offices and places of work, places of worship and social gatherings (including marriages, ceremonies, funerals, etc), users of public transport systems such as buses, trains, metro trains and flights. A facemask is also required for publicly crowded areas such as bus and railway stations. 

In restaurants and bars, face masks are permitted to be removed only while eating or drinking. A face mask is required for waiters and other service providers. At salons, spas and barbershops, staff are required to wear face masks. People going to stadiums and sports complexes are also required to wear face masks, as are people going to schools and colleges, cinemas, amusement parks, relief camps and public toilets. Swimmers are allowed to dispense with masks only while in the pool. 

No mask is required for people residing in a “healthy home”. A face mask, based on medical advice, is also required for long-term care facilities such as old-age homes and orphanages, plus prisons. 

The wearing of masks is exempted for those playing musical instruments which can be hindered by masks, while receiving dental or medical examination or while undergoing medical treatment which would be hindered by masks. A person communicating with an individual with a hearing impairment is also exempt from mask-wearing.

Mask must when:

Driving a car alone with windows closed (A/C)

Driving a car alone with windows open

Riding a bike without a pillion rider

Office or workplace

Malls/market/shops

Social gathering (marriage, ceremonies, funerals)

Public transport

Hotels/restaurants (Face mask can be removed while eating/drinking; face mask must for servers)

Salons and spas

No mask when:

In healthy homes with no Covid infection