A "Covid jail" has been opened in Germany for people who repeatedly break quarantine rules.
The facility in Neumünster, in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, launched in January and sees inmates locked up to ensure they self-isolate, with 40 retired police officers volunteering as guards.
The prison is made up of six cells in the unused annexe of a young offenders centre surrounded by barbed wire fencing on the outskirts of the small northern town.
To be sent to the facility, a person must be refusing to properly isolate after travelling, being exposed to a high-risk contact or having received a positive test result. But the local authority has insisted people will only be locked up as a "last resort".
Inmates are allowed televisions, laptops and mobile phones, and the rooms contain a comfortable bed, while psychological support is also available.
"The isolation of suspected infected people in their own homes is an essential element in getting the infection rate under control," Sönke Schulz, of the local district council, told reporters in January, reports Deutsche Welles.
"Anyone who does not comply with this is putting other people at risk.
"It should not really be any different from quarantining at home," Schulz added.
He pointed out that by the time the evidence-gathering, fine and court order have been issued, there may only be a couple of days left of the 14 required to spend at the guarded accommodation.
Mr Schulz said no one will be required to stay there longer than their normal quarantine period.
Peter Schröder, the local councilor at Neumünster who is taking responsibility for the prison, said it will be used more as a deterrent.
"We hope the effort will set an example," he told a press conference in recent weeks.
"We hope there will be hardly any cases [of people being incarcerated in this way]. Up until now there have not been many."
In May last year, rooms in the Schönefeld Airport in Brandenburg were used to house travellers who refused to abide by quarantine restrictions.
A hotel in Frankfurt, in Hesse, meanwhile, was briefly used before being closed due to lack of demand, according to officials.
Berlin is understood to be considering using spare hospitals rooms to house restriction flouters.
Germany's Left party has spoken out against the Neumünster prison while a petition has been launched.