Coronavirus: Man Arrested for Licking Handrail, Ticket Machines of Munich Subway

TOPSHOT - A man gets in a train as the platform remains empty due to novel coronavirus containment measures on March 18, 2020 at a subway station in Munich, southern Germany. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

A man in Munich, Germany who claimed to have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, has been arrested after filming himself licking ticket machines and handrails on the city’s subway.

The 33-year-old posted a video of himself licking objects on social media as part of a so-called “Corona Challenge” on Instagram and the video was also reposted on Twitter.

The man was seen licking the touchscreen of a ticket machine in the now-deleted video and then goes on to lick the handrail of a subway car, the handrail of an escalator, and then proceeds to eat a five euro note.

The man was briefly arrested by Munich police, according to a report from German tabloid Bild, and is now under investigation on charges of dangerous bodily harm.

A police spokesman said the man had been tested for coronavirus but did not elaborate as to whether he tested positive or negative.

Between Sunday and Monday, Munich police checked 400 people under the current coronavirus restrictions and found 200 violations, 61 of which were reported for further action.

The German man is not the only one to engage in the “Coronavirus Challenge”. American Instagram model and Tik Tok personality Ava Louise also recorded a video of herself licking a toilet on an aeroplane bound for Miami.

Coronavirus cases have surged in Germany over the last week and caused Chancellor Angela Merkel to make her first-ever unscheduled speech to the German people, where she labelled the virus the biggest challenge the country had faced since World War II.

“The situation is serious. Take it seriously. Since German unification, no, since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action,” she said.

Just days after the address, the German leader was forced to undergo quarantine after it emerged she had been in contact with a doctor who tested positive for the virus.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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