TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese man has been handed a hefty fine for spending his quarantine away from his home county after returning from China.
A male resident of Pingtung County who returned to Taiwan from China failed to follow regulations and directly return to his officially registered residence in the county to undergo quarantine. Instead, he spent part of his quarantine in Kinmen, violating Taiwan's disease control regulations.
Chang Hsiu-chun (張秀君), deputy director of the Pingtung County Public Health Bureau, said that when the man returned to Taiwan from China on Dec. 31, he was required to go directly to the residence listed on his household registration documents in Pingtung. However, he instead took a direct flight to Kinmen to undergo quarantine on his own and did not contact his family, reported UDN.
When it was discovered that he had failed to go to his residence, the bureau launched a search. On Jan. 2, officials managed to pinpoint his location and take him into custody.
The bureau then transferred him to a centralized quarantine facility to complete the rest of his quarantine. Chang said that although he had been undergoing quarantine at another location, he failed to follow the prescribed procedures.
For shirking quarantine regulations, the man was slapped with a fine of NT$700,000 (US$24,988) for violating the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). Specifically, he was fined NT$600,000 for violating Article 15 of the "Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens" (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例) by failing to enter the proper quarantine within 24 hours upon entry to Taiwan.
In addition, he failed to cooperate with the regulations on returning home from the airport contained in the quarantine notice issued by the competent authority, resulting in an additional fine of NT$100,000.
The health bureau pointed out that Pingtung County currently has 414 people undergoing quarantine. As of Jan. 14, there have been 30 violations of home quarantine recorded, resulting in NT$5.33 million in fines, NT$1.12 million of which has been paid.