Police issue 1400 fines for violating Covid-19 rules to date

A sign promoting social distancing at an entrance to the Funenpark in Amsterdam Centrum
A sign promoting social distancing at an entrance to the Funenpark in Amsterdam Centrum. April 5, 2020NL TimesNL Times

Police in the Netherlands have so far handed out over 1,400 fines to people for violating coronavirus social distancing rules since the rules came into effect on March 27. Under the current rules, fines may be issued to anyone over 12 years of age standing within 1.5 meters of two or more other people.

The rules, which do not hold for people living in the same household, are meant to prevent crowding and thus slow the spread of coronavirus. Adults are eligible for a fine of 390 euros for violating the rules, while minors may be handed a lighter penalty of 95 euros.

Officers and security patrolling the streets are allowed to discuss the issue with groups of people, issue a warning, and fine them if they do not adhere to the rules. "The police will continue to address people in the coming period and take action where necessary," police said in a statement.

It was not known on Tuesday exactly how many fines were handed out as officials were still waiting on collected data from other enforcement bodies.

According to the police, overall crime rates have continued to drop-off in the Netherlands, and are now significantly lower than they had been prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. At the end of March, police noted a significant drop in reported bicycle thefts, burglaries, picked pockets, and road accidents. The last week of March saw 64 pickpocket cases, and last week there were 57 reports, about half as many as normal.

While reports of domestic abuse seem to have not changed significantly since the Covid-19 restrictions came into effect, there has been an increase in the number of reports of nuisance, according to NOS.