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A German town has turned a gymnastics hall into a facility to hold potential offenders against quarantine rules that stipulate a 14-day isolation period for those who test positive for the coronavirus and those who come into contact with them.

Equipped with 20 camping beds, mattresses, and toilets stacked with toilet paper – an increasingly hard-to-find commodity, the hall in the western town of Menden is empty for now. But council head Sebastian Arlt said he was open about who the facility might be used for.

“We might house the homeless. It might also be used as additional capacity for hospitals if we have a situation like in Spain or France, if hospitals simply run out of space,” he said, standing in a hall that looked more like an army training facility than a gymnastics hall.

“Or it could be used to house people who repeatedly defy the quarantine and deliberately put others in danger of being infected,” he added. “Then we could forcibly house them here.”

Source: Reuters, March 27, 2020