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Due to the coronavirus outbreak, many countries now require people to wear face masks in public. We examine how these regulations differ, and whether it’s a punishable crime to be caught unmasked.

Street scenes and shopping malls have changed across Africa. In a matter of weeks communities have adopted a new defence in the fight against Covid-19: face masks.

Health authorities and governments around the world have urged people not to buy and wear medical masks to avoid creating a shortage for those who need them most – health workers.

But with the available evidence suggesting that simple cloth masks can play a role in slowing the spread of the new coronavirus, many authorities have taken to instructing citizens to mask up when outdoors.

But how do the regulations differ? And is it a crime to not wear a mask in public? Africa Check team members in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya investigated. ….more