Czech police issued 25,000 fines during 6-month lockdown

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After six months, the Czech Republic’s state of emergency ended on Monday, April 12. During its duration, police officers recorded over 85,000 offenses against coronavirus measures and imposed almost 25,000 fines. They have also carried out about 4 million checks during this time. The vast majority of offenses, over 54,000, were resolved through mediation.

These were measures such as restrictions on travel between districts, a ban on going out at night and a ban on gatherings. All of these restrictions have now all ceased to apply, as they were all linked to the state of emergency, which ended on Monday night. However, another number of anti-epidemic measures remain in force, and they will be governed by the Public Health Protection Act or the Pandemic Act.

Police have conducted approximately 3.8 million checks to ensure that people are complying with anti-coronavirus regulations since the emergency came into effect last October.

They found over 85,000 transgressions. Of these, more than 55,500 were violations of regulations of the Ministry of Health, such as, for example, people who failed to sufficiently cover their nose and mouth and later those who failed to wear facemasks or respirators. 

The remaining nearly 30,000 offenses represented non-compliance with government measures. This means, for example, a ban on retail sales, hotel accommodation, the presence of people in restaurants, drinking alcohol in public, or going out after 9 p.m.

From the beginning of March, people were banned from leaving their own district. During this time, the police did not allow more than 37,000 vehicles to cross borders separating different districts. 

The responsibilities of the police also include monitoring compliance with isolation and quarantine. In the last six months, they have accused 73,000 people of spreading a contagious disease.

Checks will continue

A spokesman for the police, Ondřej Moravčík, stated that the intensity of police checks would not change with the end of the state of emergency, and they will continue to monitor compliance with anti-epidemic measures. The only factual difference will be the withdrawal of police officers from district borders.

“There will be no specific number of police officers because all police officers who will currently perform the service will be involved in the inspections. This is the same regime as before the introduction of controls to restrict mobility between districts,“ said Moravčík.

Nevertheless, the number of staff involved in inspections will decrease. Until now, the police officers have also been helped by members of the Czech Army and the Customs Administration, who will now return to their normal activities.

However, police officers will continue to monitor compliance with the Ministry of Health’s emergency and protective measures.

“These will be mainly random inspections,” the spokesman added.

In case of violation of the Health Ministry’s measures, police officers have three possible options, which include offering mediation, a fine on the spot or sending someone to a regional hygienic station to discuss the violation. The police will also continue to cooperate with hygienists in checking quarantined people.

Each officer is free to decide how they approach any violation. 

“No minimum limit on the amount of the block fine has ever been and will not be set by the management of the Police of the Czech Republic. The maximum limit is set by law, namely 10,000 korunas,“ concluded Moravčík.

Title image: Policemen check documents of a driver near the city of Sokolov, Czech Republic, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. Almost 600 police officers were deployed to enforce a complete lockdown of the three hardest-hit counties on the border with Germany and Poland to help contain a fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus found in Britain. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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