New Taipei couple fined NT$300,000 for breaking quarantine rule

Couple attempts to sneak to China by boat just four days after being quarantined for possible coronavirus

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New Taipei couple fined for breaking quarantine rule. 

New Taipei couple fined for breaking quarantine rule.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese man and his Chinese wife were fined NT$300,000 (US$10,000) by the Department of Health of New Taipei City on Friday (Feb. 7) for failing to comply with the 14-day home quarantine rule, despite having just returned from China.

According to Liberty Times, the man, surnamed Chiang (江), and his wife returned to Taiwan on Sunday (Feb. 2) and were placed under home quarantine in New Taipei City due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, the couple disregarded the regulation and flew to offshore Kinmen County on Thursday (Feb. 6) before attempting to return to China by boat.

Chiang and his wife were denied access to the ferry by local immigration officers and lost their temper when reporters arrived. Chiang's wife, a Chinese national, claimed the couple did not contract the coronavirus and they were not aware of the quarantine rule.

Wu Jiun-Huei (吳俊輝), head of the Kinmen office of Centers of Disease Control (CDC), said that an investigation has been launched to check why the couple was able to board the airplane at Taipei Songshan Airport. He added that officials will consider implementing a stricter screening process for domestic travelers to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Wu told media the couple had shown no symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus, but are being fined for endangering the public by going outside and taking public transport. The CDC will also check on the couple daily while monitoring their health, reported CNA.