Coronavirus: German couple fined €400 after eating ice cream too close to shop

Coronavirus: German couple fined €400 after eating ice cream too close to shop
Photo: DPA
A couple from the city of Würselen in North Rhine-Westphalia found earlier this week that two scoops of ice cream were a lot more expensive than expected when they inadvertently broke coronavirus restrictions.

The pair in their early thirties purchased four scoops and proceeded to sit on a bench outside the parlour amid the sunny spring weather, which rose above 20C in western Germany.

Yet a few minutes later two officers from the public order office (Ordnungsamt) came by to issue the couple a fine worth €400 – or €200 each, reported Focus Online.

Ice cream parlours have been allowed to sell scoops to customers at the counter since April 20th for takeaway only. Other restaurants and cafes around Germany have remained closed to sit-in customers since mid-March, but can also offer food to-go.

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But a distance of at least 50 metres must be maintained between customers and the parlour while they consume their grub – otherwise it can be expensive, as this case proves.

“It is possible that the couple stayed within the prohibited 50 metres of the ice cream parlour – hence the fine,” said Würselen's city spokesman Bernd Schaffrath.

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The couple reportedly thought they were safe as there was no sign at the parlour warning them of the rules. But most likely they will have to foot the bill for the fine anyway.

“I find it disproportionate that there is a penalty for sitting on a bench with ice cream in my hand, but none for sitting there without ice cream,” said one of them to the editorial network Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

“I just don't understand rationale behind the punishment.”

“We are currently on reduced working hours (Kurzarbeit) so it's not a small matter to pay €400.”

READ ALSO: Kurzarbeit: Germany bets on tried-and-tested tool for coronavirus jobs crisis

Despite some relaxation of coronavirus rules around Germany, including allowing shops to reopen, restaurants, cafes and pubs are to remain closed to sit-in customers for the time being.

Until May 4th, there also remains a ban on more than two people who aren't part of the same household or family being outside together at once.

Vocabulary

Ice cream parlour – (die) Eisdiele
Counter – (die) Theke
Hence/therefore/thus – deshalb
The fine – (das) Bußgeld
The distance – (der) Abstand

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

 


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