Berlin delays prison start for those serving time for unpaid fines

People in Berlin who must serve prison sentences for unpaid fines are allowed to walk free for a few more months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman for Berlin’s justice administration said on Saturday that a four-month deferment is now in effect.

The move is meant to lower the risk of infection in prisons in the German capital, as well as allow the prison system’s medical resources to be more concentrated.

There are currently no known cases of coronavirus infections in the prisons, the spokesman added.

In the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, prison officials were also taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus by separating new prisoners entering the system from previous inmates.

Visits will also take place with partition walls until further notice, and some visits can be denied if necessary for medical reasons, the state justice ministry said.

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