Austria: Suspended sentence for woman who broke quarantine | News | DW | 22.07.2020

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Austria: Suspended sentence for woman who broke quarantine

An Austrian court has handed a six-month suspended jail sentence to a woman for leaving her home despite having tested positive for coronavirus. The woman said she had gone out to help a sick relative buy medicine.

The state court in the city of Klagenfurt issued the woman a six-month suspended sentence and fined her 800 euros ($930) for putting people in deliberate danger from a transmissible disease.

The court heard that the woman had tested positive for SARS-Cov-2 in March; she then left her home without a mask to visit a post office inside a supermarket to transfer money to relatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The 49-year-old woman pleaded guilty but said she had left the house because her granddaughter had fallen ill and needed the money to be transferred to buy medicines. 

Read more:  Coronavirus latest: Austria tightens regulations after rise in cases

According to the Austrian broadcaster ORF, the judge said the sentence was intended as a warning to "some in the population" that did not observe measures ordered by the authorities to control the virus. 

It is the first time an Austrian court has found a person guilty for ignoring quarantine measures after becoming infected with the virus. 

On the same day, Austria's highest court ruled that a curfew imposed as part of government efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 was unconstitutional.

Read more:  Coronavirus: How Germany's economy would cope with a second wave

The decision came in response to a citizen's complaint against a Health Ministry ordinance in March and April that banned people from public spaces unless they were alone or with members of their own household. Issuing a blanket ban, rather than imposing restrictions at individual sites, was not within the scope of the law used by the government, the court ruled.

A day earlier, Austria reintroduced face mask requirements inside supermarkets, banks and post offices.

Austria has reported nearly 20,000 cases of coronavirus, with 711 deaths.

rc/msh (dpa, EFE)

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