Quarantine fines remain unchanged

16.04.2021 - 10:05
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Birgir Þór Harðarson - RÚV
The office of the state prosecutor has rejected a request from the chief epidemiologist and the health minister to increase fines for COVID-19 quarantine breaches. The prosecutor believes the ability to force people who breach quarantine to use quarantine hotels is a bigger deterrent than bigger fines.

The chief epidemiologist and health minister had asked the state prosecutor to either increase the size of fines or to make sure the highest possible existing fine is always charged.

The fine is variable between 50,000 and 250,000 krónur and will remain at that level. 

The state prosecutor, Sigríður J. Friðjónsdóttir (pictured above), believes it is important to have variable fines to reflect the severity of quarantine breaches; comparing the 50,000 krónur fine given to a person who got into a car with somebody who was not quarantining to the case of three foreign tourists who were found at a restaurant eating, drinking, and boasting about breaching quarantine, and were fined 250,000 krónur each. 

It is also important, the prosecutor believes, to keep fines low enough to be paid on the spot. This is because it can be difficult or impossible to get foreign visitors to pay fines after they have left Iceland. 

The fines are already relatively high compared to fines for other breaches of the law in Iceland, the prosecutor also notes.

Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason told RÚV in a written response that the news is “no particular disappointment” to him. 

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