More than 400 New Zealanders have been convicted of breaching coronavirus restrictions, with more than 80 among them even sentenced to prison terms.
New Zealand has implemented stringent legislation to keep the pandemic in check, giving health authorities special powers for closing businesses, enforcing lockdowns or creating stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.
More than 7,500 breaches were recorded across the country since this legislation was enacted last year. While the majority made it away with a hefty fine, according to new Ministry of Justice data, a total of 640 people were charged with Covid-19 related offences, and 460 of them, were convicted. Of those convicted, almost 20%, or 85 people in total, were sent to prison. The vast majority – nearly 80% – of those charged and convicted were young men.