獨/居家隔離潛規則?老外委屈訴苦「不合理要求」 | UK family separated for no reason during Taiwan quarantine

The Macfarlane's family was contacted by local police three times in one day because of connection issues with their phones. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Macfarlane)

【看CP學英文】在新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)疫情持續蔓延下,台灣衛生福利部也針對入境旅客要求居家檢疫隔離14天。

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has issued a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers entering Taiwan.

然而,在居家檢疫規定下,卻有些不為人知的「潛規則」。來自英國的教授Bruce (布魯斯) Macfarlane日前與家人入境台灣,卻被要求與家人分開隔離,讓他一頭霧水。

Contrary to all expectations, a surprising “sub-policy” regarding local quarantine regulations came into light on Wednesday when a visiting British professor, Bruce Macfarlane, learned out of the blue that he had to undergo his mandatory quarantine separated from his family.

布魯斯告訴The China Post 他是在6月26日與妻子和兩個小孩(4歲和1歲)從英國抵達台灣。

Professor Macfarlane told The China Post that he arrived from the U.K. on June 26 with his wife and two kids, aged 1 and 4.

布魯斯說他們先前就知道台灣的14天居家檢疫規定,也按照指示搭乘指定的計程車一同前往高雄的檢疫旅館。

They knew about the mandatory 14-day quarantine prior to departure and followed all necessary measures, including sharing a designated taxi to their hotel in Kaohsiung, Macfarlane said.

然而,到了飯店後布魯斯卻被告知基於「衛生政策」原因無法與妻兒一起隔離,被強制要求分房。

Upon arrival, however, Macfarlane learned that they weren’t allowed to stay in the same hotel room from some obscure “health policy reasons.”

由於在隔離前家人全程都待在一起,現在卻被迫與妻小分隔兩房,布魯斯強調這個突如其來的要求非常不合理。

Macfarlane was baffled by the announcement as they traveled altogether to Taiwan.  Separating them during quarantine is meaningless, he emphasized, locked one room away from his loved ones in the same Kaohsiung hotel.

The Macfarlane family is pictured in this undated file photo. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Macfarlane)

他表示台灣籍的妻子需要自己帶兩個小孩,也有問當地檢疫人員和警察分隔的意義,卻沒得到回應。

His wife, who is of Taiwanese origin, did try to address the administrative quandary with local officials and Kaohsiung police while caring for their two young children on her own, but to no avail, he continued.

被分開隔離對於小孩也造成很大的壓力。布魯斯表示自己的孩子看不到父親很慌張,而妻子自己照顧兩個孩子很辛苦,自己卻無法幫上忙。

The psychological effect of the quarantine proved to be immense as Macfarlane’s children are left bewildered and confused by the sudden separation, and Macfarlane himself is unable to assist his wife in taking care of his children.

更糟的是,週三早上7點左右,警察突然衝到布魯斯妻子的房門外要求他們應門,爾後才被告知似乎是因為手機追蹤系統有異常狀況,讓妻子和孩童驚慌不已。

The situation was not helped by the tracking mobile phone system, which allegedly experienced a certain technical glitch, leading local police to visit the hotel room of Macfarlane’s wife and kids at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, creating unnecessary stress.

因先前未有家人被強制分隔的狀況傳出,不禁令人遐想這次的案件是否是基於布魯斯家庭的國籍而有另外考量。

There have been no previous incidents of forcibly separating family members during their Taiwan quarantine, so one can’t help but wonder if assumptions regarding the Macfarlane family’s dual nationality is linked to health authorities’ unorthodox decision.

布魯斯表示即使對於這次的事件感到非常不滿,他還是非常欣賞台灣政府和人民,也感到榮幸被台灣的大學邀請來台。

Though unsatisfied with this ordeal and the handling of the situation, Macfarlane stressed that he still has “every respect for Taiwan, its government and people and is honored to be a visiting professor at one of the universities.”

「但這件事真的造成我們很大的困擾」布魯斯說,並表示希望政府可以針對這樣的「分開隔離」政策有所交代,不要讓其他家庭也經歷一樣的事。

“However, this matter is a cause of deep distress,” Macfarlane said, expressing hopes that this “separation policy” could be better explained or resolved by health authorities so that no more families have to endure the same traumatic experience.

「昨天晚上凌晨12:37警察又到我妻子和孩子的房間敲門;這已經是24小時內第三次這樣了!」布魯斯說。

“At 12:37 a.m., the police came yet again and woke up my wife and two children, making it the third time in one day!” Macfarlane said.

警方含糊的解釋和不斷的騷擾讓布魯斯非常憤怒,希望可以快速得答案,解決現況。

To Macfarlane, the visits are now bordering on harassment, and with the same explanation given again and again with no change, he wants answers. 

經The China Post提問,中央流行疫情指揮中心發言人莊人祥於今早表示分開隔離是為了避免家庭成員彼此交互傳染的可能性,也說明分房時可以提出一個小孩由一個家長照顧。不過因為有可能提高感染風險,莊人祥表示若有家人希望可以一起隔離,須事先向衛生局提出切結書。

The China Post reached out to CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) on this pressing issue. The latter said that the quarantine separation aimed at avoiding the possibility of inter-transmission of the virus amongst family members, should one of them is infected by COVID-19.

In addition, Chuang said that parents can request for one parent to stay with one child to better take care of them. Families can also request to stay together during quarantine, but because of the risk, would need to submit a waiver form to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, he added.

警察數次的拜訪布魯斯一家人也是由於房間訊號不穩,導致警方誤認為檢疫者將手機關機所以屢次找上門。不過經中央流行疫情指揮中心前往關心後,布魯斯今日表示希望到台北岳母家隔離,疫情中心也會協助安排。

As for the numerous visits from the police, Chuang blamed the bad cellphone reception within the hotel room, which resulted in a disconnected signal that alerted the police.

After checking up on the family, Chuang said that the CECC will assist Macfarlane’s family who has decided to head to Taipei today and to stay with Macfarlane’s mother-in-law for the rest of the quarantine period.

The police visited them again on June 2 at midnight (Photo courtesy of Bruce Macfarlane)

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