Denmark fines 17 winter bathers for gathering in frozen lake

Denmark fines 17 winter bathers for gathering in frozen lake
Illustration photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Ritzau Scanpix
Police in Denmark have charged 17 people with breaching the Covid-19 public assembly restrictions after they gathered in a lake near Roskilde.

A member of public reported the winter bathers to the police at 9:20am on Sunday, resulting in them breaking up the low-temperature gathering, news wire Ritzau reports.

“Even from the patrol car, we could see that too many people were gathered and a photograph was taken to document it,” deputy inspector Michael Sehested of Central and West Zealand Police told Ritzau.

A popular leisure pursuit in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, winter bathing involves taking a dip in ice-cold water before usually heading into a sauna to regain warmth and repeating the process, usually around three times. It can be done at bathing facilities or more natural locations.

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Police booked the bathers, who were gathered around a hole in the ice on the Himmelsøen lake, before asking them to leave the area. They face fines of 2,500 kroner for breaching the Covid-19 restriction.

“We feel our communication has been quite clear and that authorities have been quite clear that not more than five people are allowed to gather,” Sehested said.

The inspector said he believed the gathering at the lake had been planned in advance.


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