Taipei man given NT$1 million fine over quarantine violation

Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan 黃珊珊/ CNA

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taipei handed down a maximum NT$1 million (US$32,965) fine Wednesday to a man who was found to have broken his quarantine restrictions, Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) said that day.

The man is the first to receive the highest possible fine in the capital since the maximum penalty for such violation was raised from NT$150,000 to NT$1 million last month as a deterrent to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, according to the city government.

Huang told reporters that the man had returned to Taiwan from the Chinese city of Xiamen on Monday.

Upon his arrival at the Taipei Songshan International Airport, however, he refused to fill in the required health declaration form that requires people to write down where they will be staying for the compulsory 14-day home quarantine, according to Huang.

He was later taken to one of the quarantine hotels in the city by quarantine officials at the airport.

The following day, however, the Taipei authorities found the man was no longer staying at the hotel room, therefore they reported the case to police to locate his whereabouts, Huang noted.

He was stopped at Kaohsiung International Airport later in the day as he attempted to leave the country, according to the deputy mayor. He is now serving his 14-day quarantine at a quarantine facility in the southern city, she added.

Taiwan’s current rules state that those who return from China must undergo compulsory 14-day quarantine. Individuals in quarantine are forbidden to leave their place of residence for the 14-day period and they receive daily health checks from local medical authorities twice daily.

Huang said the city decided to levy the highest possible penalty on the man who was found to have seriously violated the quarantine rules.

So far, a total of 70 people have been given fines for quarantine violations. Among the 70, 63 of them were fined NT$10,000, one NT$50,000, one NT$60,000 and four NT$70,000, according to the city government.