Six months in jail for standing too close to strangers? Countries worldwide roll out draconian measures to fight Covid-19
New regulations in Singapore which threaten prison time for anyone found violating “social distancing” protocols exemplify the harsh rules being imposed around the world in the fight against coronavirus.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, Singaporeans who fail to maintain a distance of one meter from other people in “non-transient” public interactions can be fined up to 10,000 Singapore dollars ($6,985) and even risk a six-month jail sentence.
The strict measures come as nations around the world adopt similarly extreme provisions to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Jordan introduced some of the most radical anti-coronavirus policies to date. The country initially imposed an around-the-clock lockdown, with officials promising to deliver bread and water to all citizens. Those who violated the strict quarantine were threatened with a year in prison. At least 800 were arrested over a span of several days, the Guardian reported. The measures were later eased, with the government permitting people to take walks and visit shops and pharmacies.
Authorities have begun to ratchet up efforts to stop quarantine violators in Italy. The country deployed more than 100 soldiers tasked with enforcing lockdown measures in Lombardy, the hardest-hit region in Europe. More than 90,000 Italians have been slapped with fines which can potentially reach €3,000 ($3,300). Italians can also end up behind bars for three months for flouting the stay-in-place protocols.
Spain might have the most stringent rules in Europe. Since announcing a countrywide lockdown in mid-March, residents have only been allowed outside for essentials such as grocery shopping or medical needs. The provisions, originally scheduled to be lifted after fifteen days, have been extended until April 11. Those found in violation of the rules face astronomical fines, with repeat offenders staring down the possibility of 3-18 months in prison. More than 30,000 fines have been issued and 900 arrests made for disobedience, according to reports.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed a 21-day lockdown on his country on Tuesday, forcing 1.3 billion people into their homes with only essential services and businesses remaining open. The nationwide quarantine is being enforced with no-nonsense punishments: Using a number of provisions already on the books, authorities are empowered to hand out hefty fines and jail terms lasting up to two years.
Police in Britain have been given the power to forcefully make people return to their homes, as part of a nationwide lockdown. Those without a “reasonable excuse” to be out and about could be hit with a £60 ($73) fine. A second offense could cost you double that.
Despite posts yesterday highlighting issues of people still visiting the #PeakDistrict despite government guidance, the message is still not getting through. @DerPolDroneUnit have been out at beauty spots across the county, and this footage was captured at #CurbarEdge last night. pic.twitter.com/soxWvMl0ls— Derbyshire Police (@DerbysPolice) March 26, 2020
The measures have already faced criticism, with Derbyshire police causing uproar on social media for using drones to “shame” people allegedly violating social distancing rules.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!