KHABAROVSK, Russia -- Officials in the Russian Far East's Khabarovsk Krai have begun fining organizations and companies that do not follow "mask regime" requirements, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
The region's Hygiene Control Office imposed the mask regime at the end of last month, requiring all people who work in transportation and food services to wear surgical masks.
The mask regime was introduced due to the increased spread of swine flu and other respiratory diseases in the region.
Local authorities checked 52 local companies and found that at 25 of them the workers were not wearing masks.
The managers at violating companies are fined $17, their supervisors pay $65-$130 fines, and the owners of such companies are fined $640.
Vladimir Ott, the chief of the regional Hygiene Control Office, said on November 9 that the mask-regime requirements were never lifted and that everyone working at shops, restaurants, and transportation services should wear a surgical mask.
A total of 318 swine flu cases have been officially registered in the region.