State inspectors have been given greater authority to contain the coronavirus after the government adopted amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Population against Infectious Diseases. Changes include higher fines for businesses breaking COVID-19 protocols, according to Inspection Council head Magdalena Filipovska-Grashkoska.
Speaking at a news conference Thursday, Filipovska-Grashkoska said that until now, some inspectors had the authority to issue notices or press charges against violators.
Now, she said, officials from the State Market Inspectorate, State Labor Inspectorate, State Transport Inspectorate, and all local inspectorates are authorized to close businesses and issue misdemeanor fines.
Ljupcho Nikolovski, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Fighting against Corruption and Crime, Sustainable Development and Human Resources, said that fines will vary according to the size of the business.
Micro-enterprises violating protocols will pay a fine of EUR 2,500 to 3,000. Small enterprises can expect to pay anything between EUR 5,500 and 6,000, and medium enterprises anything between EUR 17,500 and 18,000. Big businesses will be issued fines of EUR 25,000 to 30,000 in Macedonian currency.
Business owners and managers will also be fined. This, according to Nikolovski, will ensure greater efficiency and fairness. “No matter who they are or where they are,” Nikolovski said, “they have to respect the law.”
Filipovska-Grashoska said that the state protocols are essential for protecting people from the coronavirus and asked that all citizens and companies follow public health guidelines.