2 Taiwanese teens skip quarantine to buy oyster omelets

2 Taiwanese high school students in Hualien shun quarantine to buy what may become NT$1 million oyster omelets

Students pictured outside during quarantine period. (Instagram screenshots)

Students pictured outside during quarantine period. (Instagram screenshots)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Taiwanese teens could be facing a NT$1 million (US$33,000) fine after they shirked their 14-day quarantine to get lunch.

The pair of unnamed exchange students had returned from the U.S. on Wednesday morning (March 25). They went straight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to their hometown of Hualien City in eastern Taiwan.

According to new regulations, all persons returning from overseas must undergo a two-week quarantine before they venture out. However, the two teens were soon on the streets of Hualien that same day.

They posted photos of themselves on social media wearing masks and buying oyster omelets (蚵仔煎) for lunch. Concerned friends soon sent direct messages reminding them they should stay at home during quarantine and not flout the law.

However, the boys were defiant, with one writing on Instagram, "You're crying just because we bought lunch?" Since they documented their escapade on social media, authorities were soon alerted to their illegal activities.

The Hualien Department of Education confirmed the Hualien County Health Bureau has been notified of the incident. It will impose a fine on the students of between NT$100,000 to NT$1 million, in accordance with the law, reported ETtoday.

TVBS cited the owner of the oyster omelet store as saying, "They're killing me. I have to disinfect myself tonight. Tomorrow I have to close it down." The store owner said he had been informed by Department of Health officials the students had purchased the omelets from his shop earlier that day.