Jordan’s Health Ministry has begun checking that licensed restaurants and cafés are complying with regulations governing the serving of argileh (shisha), according to a story in The Jordan Times.

Under regulations announced in April 2014, restaurants and cafés may serve food but not argileh; they may serve argileh but not food; or they may operate two separate areas, one for serving food and the other for serving argileh.

The regulation bans serving argileh to minors, Health Ministry spokesperson Hatem Azrui was said to have told the Times.

The government, however, granted a period of grace until December 31, 2017, for facilities that weren’t able to meet the requirements immediately.

So the government’s crackdown started on January 1, and any facilities that violate the regulations will be subject to penalties that range between three to six months imprisonment [presumably for the operator of the business] and a fine of no less than JD3,000 and no more than JD6,000. The health minister has the authority to close facilities.

According to the law, smoking is prohibited in hospitals, healthcare centers, schools, cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums, public and non-governmental buildings, public transport vehicles, airports, closed playgrounds, lecture halls and any other location as determined by the health minister.

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