- Title: Tunisian referee hands out penalties for social distancing evaders
- Date: 26th April 2020
- Summary: NABEUL, TUNISIA (APRIL 23, 2020) (REUTERS) HANDBALL REFEREE, ABDELHAK ETLILI, ISSUING RED CARD FOR CROWD GATHERING IN FRONT OF SHOP VARIOUS OF ETLILI GIVING YELLOW CARDS FOR CROWDS BREAKING SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES ETLILI INSTRUCTING PEOPLE TO KEEP DISTANCE BETWEEN EACH OTHER ETLILI ISSUING YELLOW CARDS TO PEOPLE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HANDBALL REFEREE, ABDELHAK ETLILI, SAYING: "As a handball referee, I wanted to support the national effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. So I went out to the street and tried to apply the handball law to people in the streets who are not respecting quarantine (and social distancing rules)." VARIOUS OF ETLILI GETTING READY AT HOME, PUTTING CARDS IN POCKETS AND WEARING FACE MASK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HANDBALL REFEREE, ABDELHAK ETLILI, SAYING: "When I went out to the streets, there were people who accepted what I was trying to do, while others did not. I didn't want to argue with people who did not respect social distancing rules, so I used my own way, the way used by referees, where I issue yellow, red and blue cards." ETLILI WALKING IN STREET ETLILI RUSHING TOWARDS SMALL CROWD AND ADVISING ON SOCIAL DISTANCING ETLILI ASKING PEOPLE TO KEEP DISTANCE AMONG EACH OTHER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TUNISIAN CITIZEN, OUBID ALLAH DAGHFOUS, SAYING: "The initiative presented by the handball referee is really great. It spreads awareness among people on social distancing because people are still not aware of the dangers of this virus." VARIOUS OF ETLILI ISSUING YELLOW CARDS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HANDBALL REFEREE, ABDELHAK ETLILI, SAYING: "I did what I could. I hope people heard the message. I hope they take care of themselves and understand that this virus is very dangerous." ETLILI STANDING IN STREET AND BLOWING WHISTLE
- Embargoed: 10th May 2020 15:48
- Keywords: Cards Coronavirus Health Referee Social distancing Tunisia
- Location: NABEUL, TUNISIA
- City: NABEUL, TUNISIA
- Country: Tunisia
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001CB4NU51
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A handball referee in Tunisia's coastal town of Nabeul is issuing red, yellow and blue cards to citizens who violate social distancing rules, in an effort to protect the public and spread awareness on the dangers of coronavirus.
Dressed in his handball referee outfit, 19-year-old Abdelhak Etlili takes to the streets every day, passing by supermarkets, postal offices and food stands, communicating the dangers of coronavirus in the language he knows best.
As he observes citizens' behaviours, Etlili issues yellow, red, or blue warning cards to people standing or sitting close to each other, depending on the proximity of people.
The cards, which in handball signal a warning, a disqualification, or a report, are used symbolically by Etlili to spread awareness.
Eltili says he is "supporting the national effort" in his own way, hoping that people "take care of themselves and understand that this virus is very dangerous."
Although sometimes faced with negative reactions, Etili's feedback was predominantly positive.
In an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, Tunisian authorities had imposed a night curfew and general lockdown that has been extended to May 4.
The North African country has so far reported 939 cases, and 38 deaths.
(Production: Jihed Abidellaoui, Nadeen Ebrahim)
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