200127 face mask
A discarded face mask lies on the ground. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: Police have confirmed that they will slap fines against people who throw their used face masks and gloves on the road.

In a statement issued across its social networking sites, Abu Dhabi Police said they will issue a Dh1,000 fine and six black points if motorists are caught carrying out such types of irresponsible behaviour, which not only harms the environment but also poses a risk to public safety.

On its website, the US Food and Drug Administrator explained that the correct way to safely discard a face mask is to place it in a plastic bag and then put it in a dustbin. You should also wash your hands after handling the used mask.

Police said that throwing used masks and gloves, if contaminated, could spread coronavirus COVID-19. It also noted that carrying out preventive measures to curb the virus was a common responsibility shared by every member of the community.

The fines come in line with the UAE federal traffic law, which stipulates a Dh1,000 penalty and six black points for throwing waste from vehicles on to roads.

The penalties were announced a day after Dr Farida Al Hosani, the spokeswoman for the UAE health sector, condemned some UAE residents for not disposing their masks in a safe manner.

“We refuse such behaviour [such as] littering masks. They may be contaminated and might contribute to the spread of coronavirus,” she said. “We need to promote good behaviour and the disposal of masks in the dust bins available.”