Groningen student coronavirus party busted; 15 fined
Police in Groningen shut down a party in the early hours of Saturday morning in a building belonging to student association Vindicat, allegedly for violating social distancing rules around Covid-19. A total of fifteen people were found gathered inside the building on the Grote Markt in central Groningen after officers arrived at the scene at around 12:30 a.m., police said.
Authorities were tipped off about the party, which brought them out to the Grote Markt."We then went on site and found 15 people in the building," police said in a statement on social media.
All fifteen people were promptly fined for violating the rules in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus. "They have not complied with the emergency ordinance and have been fined for it," said a police spokesman confirmed to RTV Noord.
According to current guidelines, it is prohibited for people to gather in groups of larger than three. Additionally, standing within 1.5 meters of other people is also not allowed under the new measures. Fines range from 90 euros for minors to 390 euros for adults. An organization which does not prevent a gathering from taking place may be fined four thousand euros for violating these guidelines.
The local Groningen city SP party leader, Jimmy Dijk, also commented on the issue. The known critic of the Vindicat student association said that if the incident had indeed taken place the way police described, "it is again unprecedented".
Dijk also said that he wondered whether or not the students hold any administrative roles at Vindicat. "And these fifteen [students] are doing science courses?” he asked rhetorically, speaking to De Telegraaf newspaper.
Last weekend, which included the Easter holiday, police across the Netherlands handed out over 1,800 fines for social distancing violations to members of the public.