Public paying small fraction of NIS 37m virus fines

Police Covid-19 enforcement  / Photo: Cadya Levy, Globes

Israel Police has handed out 77,000 fines since March for violating health instructions, but only 19% of the fines have been paid.

Between March and the end of June, Israel Police handed out of 77,000 fines for violations of Covid-19 instructions, sources inform "Globes." Not only did the number of new people infected with Covid-19 soar during June but so did the number of fines. But the public seems to be in no hurry to pay the fines, even those accruing heavy interest because their 90 days grace has lapsed.

In June alone, the police handed out 35,000 fines, 99% of them penalizing people not wearing their masks in public places. Only 400 fines were imposed for violating other instructions.

Thus last month, Israel Police resumed the tough enforcement that had prevailed in April. In May only 6,000 fines were handed out, 4,600 of them for not wearing masks, a major drop from April when 33,000 fines were handed out.

If everybody were to pay the original fine, then the State would collect NIS 37 million in fines. However, after 90 days, the fine rises by 50% for late payment, and the Center for Collecting Fines has told "Globes" that 16,000 fines are already accumulating interest. Text messages are sent to those who received fines reminding them when their 90-days grace is about to expire.

So far only 19% of fines worth NIS 7.2 million have been paid but only 30% of fines handed out in March have been paid and 34.5% of fines handed out in April.

Many fines have also been canceled because of errors made when handing them out.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 5, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Police Covid-19 enforcement  / Photo: Cadya Levy, Globes
Police Covid-19 enforcement / Photo: Cadya Levy, Globes
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