Consumers will now be assured of higher quality services, with stricter fines being adopted across nine governorates in an effort to reduce health and safety violators.
Restaurants, cosmetic and barber shops, and slaughter houses will now face fines of up to RO500 for breaking a revamped list of health and safety regulations.
Speaking to local media, an official from the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR) was quoted as saying that very few changes were made to the health regulations and violations list since 1999. The revamped list now contains 29 new violations.
Hamad bin Saif Al Gharibi, the Deputy Minister of MRMWR, announced the new list of violations last week.
The new regulations have been introduced into the governorates of Musandam, Wusta, Buraimi, North and South Batinah, Dhahirah, Dakhiliyah and North and South Sharqiyah.
The tougher fine of RO500 is also a substantial increase over the previous list, which levied a maximum fine of RO300.
The new law also dictates that violating restaurants must remain shut until investigations are complete. Moreover, the fine will be doubled upon repetition of the violation, following which there will be a six-month ban on the owner’s permit.
Explaining the new regulations, Fadhila al Bahri, the director of Preventive Health Management at the Ministry, was quoted as saying that the new regulations will help to reduce the number of violators paying fines on the spot.
Al Bahri also said that the reason Muscat, Dhofar and Sohar were not included on the list was because these governorates already had tough sanctions.
Included in the new list of regulations is an increase in fines for employees working in an establishment without a permit, which will result in a fine of RO50. Meanwhile, working without a valid health card will attract a fine of RO30, an increase of RO25.
Barbers who use “unsuitable” towels or “unsterilised” tools will now receive a fine of RO50, a tenfold increase.
Meanwhile, the slaughter of cattle and chickens in traditional kitchens and unauthorised places will now attract a fine of RO100.
According to the MRMWR, the rate of violations against the number of permits stood at 12.35 per cent in 2015.
The Ministry said it expected to see a reduction in violators following the proper implementation of the new regulations next year.