Police trying to intercept Baku residents fleeing quarantine via backroads out of city
Traffic cameras have been installed on dirt roads leading from Baku to the regions to ensure that no one bypasses police quarantine posts on their way out of the capital.
Highway patrol decided to introduce this new measure after last Saturday, June 20, when despite the lockdown, hundreds tried to leave the city in their cars to escape quarantine.
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The second wave of coronavirus continues to move through Azerbaijan. Around 500 new cases are reported every day. In light of this, the authorities have decided to once again introduce a strict quarantine regime, which will last for two weeks – from June 21 to July 5. Among other things, this means that residents of large cities will only be permitted to go out on the street after receiving permission via SMS, which is only issued for two hours a day.
Not everyone was particularly thrilled about the prospect of being stuck at home in the hot Baku summer weather, and some decided to “escape” to the regions to wait out quarantine. Moreover, quarantine measures are weaker in the provinces, and many have relatives or summer cottages there.
But the entry to and exit from Baku is closed and there are officers posted up on the main roads, so people decided to avoid them by taking the dirt roads.
The highway patrol anticipated this and dug out the bypass roads ahead of time so that it was impossible to drive through them.
But the stubborn “runaways” simply filled the holes by hand and drove on.
The night of June 20 into early morning June 21 (the day before quarantine was reintroduced) turned out to be intense for both drivers and police. As a result, several hundred people had to turn back. Administrative charges will be brought against around 200 people.
Some drivers said that they had the right to leave (for example, because they are registered in the regions), but went around to avoid standing in traffic jam for hours.
And now the traffic police are hoping to prevent this “off-road racing” with the help of surveillance cameras.