Taiwanese woman 1st foreigner deported for violating S. Korea's quarantine rule

Woman from Taiwan becomes 1st foreigner deported from S. Korea for refusing to pay for quarantine

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Workers disinfecting market in Daegu, South Korea. 

Workers disinfecting market in Daegu, South Korea.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese woman on Sunday (April 5) became the first foreigner to be deported from South Korea for refusing to pay for her mandatory 14-day quarantine.

In order to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), South Korea on April 1 imposed a new rule requiring all foreign visitors to undergo a 14-day quarantine. A Taiwanese woman in her 30s was deported to Taiwan at 7:45 p.m. on Sunday because she refused to cooperate with the terms of her quarantine, reported Yonhap News.

According to the report, the woman arrived at South Korea's Incheon Airport for sightseeing on April 2 and agreed to pay the 14-day quarantine fee. However, when she arrived at the designated quarantine facilities the next day, she said she could not afford to pay the bill and asked to check out.

The quarantine fee was based on a two-week stay and amounted to about 1.4 million won (US$1,140). According to South Korea's Ministry of Justice, the woman refused to stay in the quarantine facility because she said she could not afford the expense.

Officials deemed that she had failed to cooperate with the South Korean government's isolation requirements and decided that she should be repatriated. According to regulations that went into effect on April 1, all foreign visitors to South Korea must undergo a two-week quarantine.

As of April 5, 11 foreigners who had failed to cooperate with South Korea's new quarantine rule were refused entry into the country.