YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The Armenian authorities will double the number of special teams enforcing safety rules meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on June 16.
Pashinyan said police officers will be joined by representatives of other state bodies in ensuring that Armenians wear face masks, practice social distancing and take other precautions against COVID-19.
“This will allow us to double the number of enforcement groups,” he said at a daily COVID-19 news briefing.
Early this month, the Armenian government made it mandatory for everyone to wear a mask, not only in all enclosed spaces but also in the streets and all other public areas. Police say that thousands of citizens have since been fined 10,000 drams ($21) for failing to comply with this requirement which the government says is essential for tackling the epidemic.
Pashinyan announced that starting Wednesday, June 17, Armenians will also have to carry passports or other IDs when leaving their homes. Failure to do so will be punishable by separate 10,000-dram fines, he said, adding that the measure will facilitate the enforcement of the mask requirement.
The Armenian Ministry of Health reported on June 16 morning 425 new infections, bringing to 17,489 the total number of coronavirus cases in the country of about 3 million.