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Man, 77, fined 'for hunting Pok­émon' in Madrid during Spain’s coronavirus lockdown

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 26/03/2020 Harriet Brewis

A Spanish pensioner has been fined for breaching the country’s strict lockdown rules after "hunting Pokémon" on the streets of Madrid.

The 77-year-old was given the penalty for infringing public safety laws by playing outside his home during the national state of alarm.

The popular Pokémon Go app sees players track down and train virtual characters in real-world locations.

a hand holding a cell phone © Provided by Evening Standard The capital’s municipal police shared the report on Twitter, writing: "Hunting #Pokemon, dinosaurs or any other magical creature is prohibited during the State of Alarm.

“Don't make excuses and #StayatHome #SocialResponsibility #COVID19."

The mention of “dinosaurs” in the caption alludes to a previous police appeal launched after a person was spotted leaving their house dressed as a Tyrannosaurus rex.

The warnings come as Spain continues to suffer one of the worst coronavirus crises in the world – second only to Italy in its number of confirmed patient deaths.

The European nation declared a record daily increase of 738 deaths on Wednesday, pushing it to 3,434 overall.

Legislators are set to extend the country’s lockdown for two more weeks to April 12.

Yet citizens continue to break quarantine rules, with Madrid’s municipal police alone issuing more than 4,850 complaints and detaining 30 people since March 14, TeleMadrid reported.

On March 22 – a week after the State of Emergency was declared – 664 fines were imposed for infringing the restrictions, according to the local news site.

Such penalties can range from around £550 to £27,600 (NZD 1120 to 5,62,000), while serious incidents can also result in custodial sentences of between three months and four years.

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