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COVID19: Lockdown breach could incur €3,000 punishment

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The cabinet on Thursday approved €150 spot fine or a €3,000 penalty plus prison for breaking Cyprus curfew rules in a clear message that social distancing measures must be taken seriously.

Two law proposals were sent to parliament to be fast-tracked. Under the proposals, offenders will receive an on-the-spot-fine of €150, while the other amends the penalty in the law contagious infections law from CYP 450 (€765) to €3,000.

Offenders could also face a maximum prison sentence of six months, according to the proposal.

Justice Minister George Savvides said that police will retain the right to charge those who break the stay at home decree rather than issuing a fine.

If the case goes to court the offender will face a much heftier fine and maybe jail time.

He clarified that despite courts currently only dealing with serious cases, the cases will be tried as soon as possible.

Since the lockdown at 6 pm on Tuesday when the stay at home decree came into force until 7 am Thursday, authorities have carried out 6822 checks, with 445 pedestrians and drivers booked for not carrying the required documentation.

From March 11, when a decree was issued closing business establishments and imposing restrictions on social gatherings, police have carried out 35,427 checks and 80 businesses and other establishments were charged.

The government has introduced a ban on free movement from 24 March until 13 April in an effort to stem the spread of COVID19.