Taiwan may sentence coronavirus quarantine violators to up to 2 years in prison

Cabinet approves package of measures to be reviewed by Legislative Yuan

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Disinfecting a high speed rail station. 

Disinfecting a high speed rail station.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Violators of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine measures who visit crowded locations or take the MRT will soon face up to two years in prison or a fine of NT$2 million (US$65,950) if they put others at risk of infection, according to a package of special measures proposed by the Cabinet Thursday (Feb. 20).

Taiwan has so far recorded 24 cases of coronavirus, including one death. On Thursday, the government presented a new list of measures ranging from subsidies to sanctions. The latter included maximum prison sentences of five years or fines of up to NT$5 million for hoarding coronavirus prevention items such as masks, CNA reported.

Those spreading damaging false information about the outbreak would face jail terms of up to three years or maximum fines of NT$3 million.

Citizens who break coronavirus quarantine by smoking in a hallway outside their home, for example, could be fined a maximum of NT$1 million, but if they visit crowded places and take public transportation, they would be subject to prosecution under the penal code, with a maximum fine of NT$2 million or a jail term of up to two years, officials explained.

The Cabinet proposals, the subsidies and benefits of which total NT$60 billion, still needed to win the approval of the Legislative Yuan and are expected to remain in force until the end of June 2021, according to CNA.