This gives “text me when you get home” a whole new meaning. Hundreds of young people have created WhatsApp groups to “insure” themselves against paying the fine for violating the curfew in the Netherlands.
Members of the groups are instructed to send a photo of the fine to the group administrator. Providing that the user has already transferred an initiation fee of €10 and is the first of 55 members to claim they have been fined that day, the group admin will transfer over the amount of the fine.
There are at least three of these groups with hundreds of members, reports RTL Nieuws. Not only can you gain financial insurance against the avondklok, but the apps also share “safe” routes home where there are unlikely to be police. A kind of millennial neighbourhood watch.
Ambiguous legal standing
Whether or not these groups are legal is an interesting question. Marit van der Pool specialises in insurance law and tells RTL Nieuws that “contractually, this agreement is not allowed, because you are not allowed to insure intentional actions.”
However, she reminds us that these groups act as a contract and that “the two contracting parties both want this. So nobody is going to say ‘this is not allowed’.”
On the other hand, her colleague Mark Wisse states that you need a licence from De Nederlandsche Bank to offer insurance. It’s unlikely that these groups have this kind of licence.
Decline in support for curfew in the Netherlands
When it comes to public support of coronavirus measures, the curfew is at the bottom of the list. Many question its effectiveness in fighting coronavirus, especially when infection numbers continue to rise.
The administrator of the WhatsApp group tells RTL Nieuws that “I got the idea when I heard in my area that curfew was hard for people,” and that his “impression is that many people find the measure disproportionate and ineffective.”
In last night’s press conference, Mark Rutte announced a plan to abandon curfew after April 28, if the R rate is sufficiently low.
How have you been impacted by the curfew? Let us know in the comments!
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