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Taipei fines man NT$1 million for shirking quarantine

Taiwanese man first in Taipei to be slapped with NT$1 million fine for skipping out on quarantine

Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese man on Tuesday (March 10) became the first person in Taipei to be slapped with an NT$1 million (US$33,000) fine for violating quarantine regulations

Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Wednesday (March 11) announced that a man who arrived in Taiwan from Xiamen on Monday (March 9) was uncooperative when asked to fill out requested information and was admitted to a specially designated hotel to undergo a 14-day quarantine with the assistance of airport staff, reported CNA. However, when officers went to check on his status, he was found to have left his room and was levied a fine of NT$1 million and transferred to a quarantine facility in Kaohsiung.

At 2 p.m., Huang presided over the 19th emergency meeting of the Taipei City Government's response to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Huang then made the announcement of the fine during a press conference held at 3:30 p.m.

Huang said that when the man arrived from Xiamen on March 9, he did not cooperate in filling out information when he was at the Taipei Songshan Airport. The quarantine officer then assisted the man in checking into a hotel designated for quarantines.

However, when civil affairs and police officers found that the man had left the hotel without notice, a police unit was dispatched to the scene. Huang said that the Department of Health found that in the online application system for the National Immigration Agency (NIA), when the man had wanted to fly out of Kaohsiung International Airport, he ignored the requirements of his home quarantine and failed to make it clear what his designated residence was for the quarantine.

On Wednesday, the man was handed a fine of NT$1 million for breaching Article 15, paragraph 2 of the Special Act on COVID-19 Prevention, Relief and Restoration (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例), according to Huang. This marks the first time Taipei has issued such a high fine for violating quarantine regulations.

Huang said that the man has since been transferred to a centralized quarantine facility in Kaohsiung. As of March 10, Taipei City has imposed fines on 70 persons for violating quarantine regulations.

Thus far, 63 people have been fined NT$10,000, one was levied a fine of NT$50,000, one was slapped with a fine of NT$70,000, four were hit with a fine of NT$70,000, and the latest case was handed the record-setting fine of NT$1 million, according to the report. A man in Hsinchu was also forced to pay a fine of NT$1 million for violating his quarantine on March 3.