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Coronavirus: Germans to be fined up to €500 for breaking social distancing rules

Germans risk being fined up to €500 for standing too close to each other from Friday as officials crack down on people flouting rules brought in to control coronavirus.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has ordered people not leave their homes unless they have an exceptional reason such as grocery shopping, exercise or medical appointments.

Gatherings of more than two people are banned and a distance of at least 1.5 metres must be kept from others at all times.

Local governments have the power to set fines for transgressors, with city officials in Berlin saying their fines would be as high as 500.

Similar announcements have come from across Germany’s 16 states.

Hesse, home to finance hub Frankfurt, and North Rhine-Westphalia both promised penalties of up to 200 for people who gather in groups of more than two.

Bavaria, Germany’s largest state, has been the worst affected by the coronavirus so far, with more than 20,000 cases.

There, people who stand less than 1.5 metres apart risk being fined 150.

thelocal.de / Balkantimes.press

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