SPANISH NEWS

Woman arrested for surfing in northern Spain after testing positive for Covid-19

The lifeguard was handcuffed and taken away by police for ignoring calls to return to the shore

A woman who had tested positive for Covid-19 and should have been in quarantine was arrested Monday in San Sebastián.
A woman who had tested positive for Covid-19 and should have been in quarantine was arrested Monday in San Sebastián.Gorka Estrada / EFE

A woman was arrested on Monday at Zurriola beach in San Sebastián, in Spain’s Basque Country, after going surfing when she should have been in quarantine. After confirming that the woman had tested positive for Covid-19 and was meant to be at home, several officers – some in protective suits to avoid contagion – went down to the beach to take her out of the water. When the woman, a lifeguard at La Concha beach, refused to stop surfing and tried to flee from the officers, she was arrested for disobeying authorities and crimes against public health.

“San Sebastián: A young woman with Covid-19 is surprised while surfing at a Zurriola beach and later tries to flee the Ertzaintza. The woman, a lifeguard at La Concha beach, was arrested for serious disobedience and crimes against public health.”

According to the security department of the Basque regional government, the officers were notified around noon that a woman, who had tested positive for the coronavirus, was surfing at a beach instead of observing her quarantine. Lifesavers approached the woman on a lifeboat and told her to go to the shore. The woman, however, ignored the orders and did not leave the water for another hour. When she finally got out, officers from the Basque regional police force, the Ertzaintza, arrested her for disobeying law enforcement officials. She will also be fined for breaking the quarantine.

The video of the arrest went viral within hours. In the footage, the woman can be seen trying to run away from the officers before being handcuffed and taken away. According to some sources, the police were tipped off by the woman’s own colleagues who knew she was not meant to be outside and saw her enter the water. A dozen people watching the scene unfold from the beach expressed their indignation at the woman’s attitude.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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