Switzerland: Woman fined 1,900 francs for leaving coronavirus quarantine early

Switzerland: Woman fined 1,900 francs for leaving coronavirus quarantine early
A woman in isolation holds up a face mask. Photo: YAMIL LAGE / AFP
A woman has been forced to pay 1,900 francs for disregarding a coronavirus isolation measure four days early. As a result of her leaving isolation before the time was up, 280 others were required to quarantine.

A woman in the village of Grenchen, Solothurn was fined CHF1,900 for breaching an isolation order in late June. 

The woman had been ordered to quarantine from June 22nd until July 1st, but broke the order to go to two events on June 27th. 

As a result of her breaching quarantine, all those who attended the events – some 280 people – were required to quarantine as a result, one of whom later tested positive for the coronavirus. 

READ: Does Switzerland's 'mild' coronavirus strategy make it 'the new Sweden'? 

The woman’s lawyer argued that she believed her quarantine had already expired, however the public prosecutor tended evidence that she had called the local Covid-19 hotline to ask if she would be able to leave quarantine early. 

The public prosecutor said the woman should have waited until she received a written confirmation that she could end quarantine early before leaving her self-isolation. 

Under Switzerland’s Epidemics Act, people can be fined up to CHF10,000 for purposefully breaching coronavirus measures, or CHF5,000 for doing so negligently. 

In practice few fines have been handed out to individuals, although the Swiss government on Wednesday approved a proposal to allow police to issue on the spot fines for minor infractions such as failing to wear a mask where one is mandated. 

The CHF1,900 included a CHF1,500 fine as well as a CHF400 order for costs.

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