Against Draconian Penalties for Covid-19 Quarantine Infringements


  • Elias Moser Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics



In 2020, after the first COVID-19 lockdown, several countries implemented a policy of contact tracing and self-isolating for individuals who crossed borders or came into contact with infected people. To enforce these restrictions, some states imposed very harsh monetary penalties for people who violated them. Behind these harsh fines lies an instrumental rationale. They allow the state to avoid implementing a system of labor-intensive and costly surveillance and enforcement. In this article I argue that such severe penalties are extremely unjust. In order not to expose citizens to the risk of being excessively fined, governmental institutions should instead intensify controls. I argue that they owe it to their citizens to increase the surveillance of compliance with self-isolation obligations.

Keywords: COVID-19, Quarantine, Self-Isolation, Theories of Punishment, Economics of Criminal Justice, Proportionality


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How to Cite

Moser, E. (2021). Against Draconian Penalties for Covid-19 Quarantine Infringements. Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, 15(2), 17-28.



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