The Kenyan police commander said the grace period for wearing the mask has expired, and arrests will take place from Wednesday.
Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai said people had had enough time to buy masks and that arrests would now begin. The Ministry of Health has announced that anyone found without a mouth cover will be fined 20,000 Kenyan shillings ($188) or six months in prison.
Public transport operators had previously asked the government to provide masks, citing the high cost. Currently, a single-use mask retails for 100 Kenyan shillings ($ 0.09) while an N95 version retails for 1,500 Kenyan shillings.
The government has issued a directive that everyone in public places must wear a mask and has contacted various companies to help them produce suitable mouth covers.
The ministry organized information campaigns on the wearing and removal of masks to avoid contamination.
Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, the official advice of the World Health Organization has been clear. Only two types of people should wear a mask: people who are sick and have symptoms, and those who care for people suspected of having coronavirus.