SINCE the start of Spain’s coronavirus lockdown on March 14, police have issued 650,000 tickets for breaking the emergency regulations. 

Spain’s Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, revealed the figures this morning (April 13) during an online press conference to report on the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic. 

CHECKS: Police have been looking out for rule-breakers.

Marlaska emphasised that the sole purpose of issuing fines was to ensure people obeyed the regulations, dismissing claims from some quarters that it was a money-making exercise. 

He added that public health was his department’s priority. He continued to say that the vast majority of people were obeying the regulations. There had been a slight rise in the number of people being sanctioned last week, but generally compliance was good. 

Marlaska said that money collected from fines will be handed over to the Treasury, which will decide on how it should be spent. 

During the conference he also announced that 4,500 Policia Nacional, Guardia Civil, Red Cross and Civil protection volunteers have started handing out 10 million free protective masks at train and bus stations. 

He pledged that the scheme will be rolled out to chemist shops in the coming days. 

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