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Cyprus

Cabinet approves draconian bill for those caught breaking quarantine

Police monitoring Nicosia's Ledra St on Thursday

The cabinet on Thursday approved a bill amending the law on spot fines to include a €150 fine for offenders breaking quarantine orders issued by the health minister.

The fine will be imposed by police officers on anyone violating the restrictions in circulation and other bans introduced by the government on Monday in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides said some offenders should not expect to get off with just a €150 fine.

“There is the capacity, if judged necessary by law enforcement officers, not to impose the fine and take the case to court,” the minister said. “In this case, the offender will face a jail sentence and a fine that is much higher than the spot fine.”

The Quarantine Law provides for a jail sentence of up to six months or a fine of 450 Cyprus pounds (about €768).

That fine however, was increased by the cabinet on Thursday to €3,000. The bill needs parliament’s approval.

The minister said that despite the limitations imposed by the courts on the cases as part of the measures, “violations of the Quarantine Law are among the exemptions … so they will be submitted and tried immediately”.

 



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