In France, more than a quarter of a million people have been fined since restrictions on movement were announced, according to Interior Ministry figures. And in Italy, the country hardest hit by the outbreak in Europe, anyone violating quarantine rules can be fined up to 3,000 euros, about $3,300.
A U.S. judge orders the release of some immigration detainees.
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that more than a dozen people must be released from federal immigration detention facilities in Pennsylvania by the end of the day, because the detainees’ age or pre-existing health conditions put them at high risk of contracting the virus in the facilities.
Two of the plaintiffs were already showing symptoms, their lawyers said, but had not been tested for it. According to their legal complaint, the plaintiffs have been sleeping two or three to a small cell, or side-by-side in bigger rooms of more than 50, with bunk beds so close that they could bump into each other during the night.
“They ate shoulder to shoulder and had 60 people sharing four showers and four sinks with little sanitization in between uses,” said Vic Walczak, the legal director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the plaintiffs. “If you have one infected person in that room, those kind of conditions are only going to guarantee that everybody else is going to be infected.”
The complainants in the case — who are from countries including Nigeria, Indonesia, Guatemala and India — were at especially high risk because of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart stents and other chronic conditions.
In ordering their release, Judge John E. Jones III of the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania wrote, “Our world has been altered with lightning speed, and the results are both unprecedented and ghastly.” He continued, “The choices we now make must reflect this new reality.”