Friday 30 October 2020

Cabinet poised to stop coronavirus fines leading to a criminal record

Social distancing at Schiphol railway station. Photo: Brandon Hartley

The cabinet will decide today that people who are fined for breaking coronavirus rules should not be given a criminal record after all, broadcaster NOS reports.

Currently all fines of over €100 result in a criminal record, and the fine for breaking coronavirus social distancing rules is €390.

MPs have been keen to make the change, because a criminal record can make it difficult for people to get a certificate of good behaviour (VOG) which is needed for many different jobs. Now ministers are set to discuss changing the rules at today’s cabinet meeting, NOS says.

How the change will be made is not yet clear, but opposition MPs say the maximum coronavirus-related fine should be cut to €99.  By July officials had handed out at least 15,000 fines, and thousands of people have launched appeals.

Justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus is the highest-profile offender, having being given a fine for failing to observe social distancing rules at his wedding.

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