TAIPEI (CNA) — Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) said Monday that the city government will prohibit short-term rental of private premises for home quarantine purposes, as that practice could lead to community spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
As of Sept. 22, landlords found renting apartments or houses in Taipei for quarantine purposes will be fined NT$3,000 (US$102.27) to NT$15,000, Huang said at a press conference, citing the Communicable Disease Control Act.
The practice of renting private residences in the short term to people who are required to self-quarantine is a potential community health threat, as it could lead to an outbreak of COVID-19, Huang said.
In addition to fining landlords, the city government will also publish their names and addresses to alert others in the community to the COVID-19 risk, he said.
Meanwhile, Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆), commissioner of the city’s Department of Information and Tourism, said authorities will look for any premises being rented as home quarantine facilities.
Currently, an estimated 81 private residences in Taipei are being rented as quarantine accommodation for people arriving from overseas, according to Wu Kun-hung (吳坤宏), deputy commissioner of the Taipei Department of Civil Affairs.
In some cases, however, the property may have been used by several members of the same family returning from overseas, Huang said.
“There certainly have been cases in which a large number of people from the same family have returned to Taiwan,” she said.
The current regulations allow people to lend their apartments to relatives and friends for quarantine purposes, Huang said, adding that city officials will investigate the circumstances.
“If a landlord is unable to clearly establish their relationship with the person in quarantine, then we will list that landlord as a possible offender,” Huang said.
In keeping with Taiwan’s COVID-19 control efforts, people arriving in the country are advised to quarantine at home or at government-designated quarantine hotels, Liu said, adding that there are some 4,000 hotel rooms available in the city for that purpose.
Since March, a 14-day self-quarantine period has been mandatory in Taiwan for all overseas arrivals, including Taiwanese citizens.
To date, Taiwan has recorded 494 cases of COVID-19, with 402 classified as imported, according to government data.