TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Violators of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) home quarantine measures could face a fine of up to NT$1 million (US$32,900), according to a suite of special measures proposed by the Cabinet Thursday (Feb. 20).
During a press conference on Thursday (Feb. 19), Minister without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成), announced a new piece of legislation called the Special Regulations on the Prevention and Relief of Severe Special Infectious Pneumonia Bill (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例草案), which he said will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation and approval, reported Liberty Times. According to Article 15 of the bill, those who violate the provisions of a home quarantine could face fines of up to NT$1 million.
Lo said that there are 18 articles in the special bill, which includes a combination of subsidies and benefits worth NT$60 billion. He said the implementation period of the new law would be Jan. 15, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
The purpose of the legislation is to provide solutions to the economic and social impact of the Wuhan coronavirus on Taiwan. If approved by the Legislative Yuan, it is expected that it would go into effect in March.
The bill will also offer compensation for quarantines, and affected industries will be provided with loans for up to one and a half years. Lo said that if health authorities at all levels impose isolation or quarantine measures, those who leave a quarantined area without permission could receive fines of between NT$200,000 to NT$1 million.
If a person violates the quarantine measures, they could face fines of between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million. In addition to fines on quarantine violations, the bill includes guidelines for prison sentences and fines for other infractions, such as hoarding face masks and spreading disinformation.
Those caught hoarding coronavirus prevention items like masks could face a maximum prison sentence of five years or a fine of up to NT$5 million, CNA reported. Those spreading damaging false information about the outbreak would face a jail term of up to three years or a maximum fine 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. Those who are under quarantine but visit crowded places or take public transportation 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.