A single individual driving or exercising alone does not have to wear a face mask while performing these actions. The Union Health Ministry has not recommended wearing a mask if any individual is driving, exercising or cycling alone. This means that all those early morning walkers and cyclists won't have to worry about getting fined by the police for not wearing a mask.
When is wearing mask necessary?
If there is more than one person in a car or a group of people are exercising together, then wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing is must, said Union Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at a press conference today.
Complaints against unjustified challans
In the last few months, a large number of complaints have been registered against people being challaned for not wearing a mask in a car even though they were alone.
During the press conference today, the health ministry official was asked if it is necessary to wear a mask while driving a car or cycling. Bhushan replied, "There are no guidelines from the Health Ministry on wearing a mask if a person is driving a car or riding a cycle alone."
In the last few months, the Delhi Police have been issuing fines against 1,200 to 1,500 people every day on an average for riding a vehicle or cycling without face masks.
A Senior Delhi Police Officer told Hindustan Times that the police have been following guidelines of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which were released on June 13. The guidelines stated that any person found not wearing a mask in pubic shall be liable for a fine worth Rs 500.
"Because a car is considered a public place, we are issuing fines. Any officer of the rank of a sub-inspector or above can issue the fine. We are yet to receive any written order that states otherwise. As soon as we receive the new directives, we will start following them," the police officer told the daily.