Three travelers who arrived from Hong Kong and breached quarantine regulations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Taiwan were each fined NT$70,000, the Taipei Department of Health said yesterday.
To enhance disease-prevention measures at the nation’s borders, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has imposed a 14-day compulsory home quarantine on all visitors who visited China, Hong Kong or Macau in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Taiwan.
A married couple and their son on Saturday last week traveled from Hong Kong to Taiwan and were placed under home quarantine, but monitoring officers lost contact with them, prompting the city government on Friday to publicize their names and ask the public to locate them.
They were found by police in a daily rental studio apartment in Taipei on Friday afternoon.
A fine of NT$70,000 has been imposed on each the three people and they have been moved to a centralized quarantine location in the city, the department said yesterday.
Separately yesterday, the police tracked down another three people who broke quarantine — a Taiwanese woman who on Feb. 5 returned to Kinmen through the “small three links” from China, a Taiwanese woman who on Saturday last week returned from China and a man of unknown nationality who arrived from Hong Kong on Sunday last week.
As of Friday, the city government has imposed fines on 22 people who broke their home quarantine.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday morning said it is important that everyone who is under home quarantine cooperate with the policy, otherwise the government would have to go to the trouble of using various other preventive measures.
“Electric bracelets” might have to be used if all other measures fail, he added.
Asked about Ko’s electric bracelets remark, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that heavier punishments have been levied on those who have gone missing while under compulsory home quarantine.
An electronic health declaration certificate system was launched on Thursday, enhancing control on visitors under home quarantine after their arrival in Taiwan, he said.
The center would send those who breach the compulsory home quarantine order more than once to a centralized quarantine location, but it has not considered using monitoring bracelets yet, he added.
Additional reporting by CNA
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