77-year-old fined for playing Pokemon Go amid Spain's coronavirus lockdown

Do you really have to catch 'em all?

Daniel Van Boom Senior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
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Daniel Van Boom
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Maybe now isn't the best time to Go.


The coronavirus pandemic is most lethal to the elderly and the virus' spread throughout Spain is the second most deadly in the world. So it's not surprising that police in Madrid, enforcing the city's lockdown measures, arrested a 77-year-old on Sunday for being out and about in the city, reports TeleMadrid. The septuagenarian's reason leaving his home? Having to catch 'em all, obviously.

Madrid police on tweeted a photo on Monday of the 77-year-old's ticket. The man was arrested at 1:30 p.m. for "hunting Pokemon," presumably in Pokemon Go , a mobile game that requires you to walk out in the real world to catch virtual Pokemon. Hunting for Pokemon in the streets, the tweet noted, was strictly prohibited. 

On Wednesday Spain's death toll, after reporting 738 new fatalities from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, exceeded China's to become the second highest in the world. The country, with a population of 46 million, has suffered 3,434 deaths, more than the 3,285 deaths China has reported. Italy's death toll stands at 6,820. 

Spanish officials announced a national lockdown of two weeks on March 14. Residents can leave the house to go to work, medical centers, banks, supermarkets and pharmacies. On Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said he wants the lockdown to extend to April 11, pending parliamentary approval. 

Spain's enthusiastic Pokemon hunter isn't the only one to break lockdown for new digital critters. A 31-year-old in Italy was fined by police last week for playing Pokemon Go in public with his daughter, reports Italy's Leggo. "I have to hunt Pokemon," the man reportedly told police.

Niantic, the developer behind Pokemon Go, has encouraged players to stay at home. It's tweaked the game so that Pokemon spawn more frequently, so players don't need to go outside to find them. Incense, an in-game purchase which increases Pokemon spawn rates, has been discounted 99% and now lasts twice as long. Raid events, which see hundreds of players coordinate to defeat and catch powerful Pokemon, have been canceled