Men Fined 1,000 EUR For Being Too Close In Supermarket

Story ByMichael Leidig, Sub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

Picture Credit: CEN/Privat

Austrian cops have slapped two pals who spotted each other at a local supermarket and stopped to have a chat with a 500-EUR fine each.

It is part of a crackdown on people breaking the rules that has seen 16,000 people fined including one person who had a cup of coffee on a park bench, and a mother who went out to play ball in a local park with her son.

One of the two men, a 23-year-old who was not named, said they had not spotted the police in a nearby patrol car watching the supermarket, and when they were asked what they were doing, they had said they were waiting for a friend.

Picture Credit: CEN/Privat

Under the quarantine laws in the country, however, people are only allowed out in order to visit the supermarket, and not to use it as a meeting point for friends. Because the pair, according to the police, had not been keeping the proper social distance of one metre and were not part of the same household when they met in the Billa supermarket in Vienna, they were given a ticket and ordered to pay the 500-EUR (438-GBP) fine each.

The fine turned up this week in the mailboxes of the two men, one of whom worked as a security guard himself at a supermarket although he was not on duty at the time.

Picture Credit: CEN

The 23-year-old said he was just waiting to hand over some car keys to the brother of the friend, and because he worked as a security guard he was aware of the rules on social distancing and insisted that they had kept them.

However, the police said that they had counted the floor tiles between the two, and could confirm the distance had not been met.

If the pair do not pay, they risk having to spend 10 hours in jail as an alternative.

Picture Credit: CEN

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