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Coronavirus: Two fined €400 each by Paphos court for defying lockdown

On Friday, Paphos district court fined two men €400 each for breaking a decree banning all unnecessary movement.

A police patrol found the men, two Romanian nationals living in the Asprokremmos area, walking around without the necessary justification.

The government has repeatedly warned the public to comply with the stay-home rules and police patrols all over the country have been spotted on the streets checking pedestrians’ and drivers’ documents.

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. It remains to be passed by the House.

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.

Whether or not someone ends up with the €150 fine or end up in court facing stiffer penalties is at the discretion of the police, spokesman Christos Andreou told the Cyprus Mail on Friday.

However, 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 a maximum €3,000. The bill needs parliament’s approval.

He also warned that such cases would be fast tracked in courts which are currently dealing only with urgent cases.

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