The owner of a New Taipei-based company that specializes in educational materials has been fined NT$1 million (US$34,161) for breaking his home quarantine restriction, the New Taipei Department of Health said Friday.
Lee Wan-chi (李萬吉), chairman of Kang Hsuan Educational Publishing Group, returned from China on Sept. 5 and was found to have gone out several times when he should have been at home undergoing his 14-day COVID-19 quarantine, the health department said.
The hefty fine was issued out of consideration that Lee left his quarantine residence six times in three days from Sept. 6-8, each time deliberately leaving behind his mobile phone so that the health authorities could not track him, it explained.
In a statement, the company said Lee has apologized for his behavior and that he respects the health authority's decision to fine him. Individuals who violate quarantine regulations are subject to fines of NT$100,000 to NT$1 million.
According to the New Taipei health department, the regulations are based on provisions in the "Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens" and the "Communicable Disease Control Act."
Taiwan currently requires people returning from abroad to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Individuals in quarantine are forbidden to leave their place of residence for the 14-day period.
Earlier on Thursday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said that so far, 899 people in Taiwan have been fined for breaking quarantine restrictions.
The fines imposed on these people now total NT$116.04 million, the CECC said.