Quarantine violators face six months in prison - RTHK
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Quarantine violators face six months in prison

2020-03-18 HKT 21:46
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  • Incoming travellers who violate a 14-day quarantine can face up to six months in prison and a HK$25,000 fine. Photo: RTHK
    Incoming travellers who violate a 14-day quarantine can face up to six months in prison and a HK$25,000 fine. Photo: RTHK
Incoming travellers who violate a mandatory quarantine to be enforced starting at midnight could face up to six months in prison and a HK$25,000 fine, according to a newly gazetted regulation.

That’s the same penalty for those who breach a similar order imposed on February 8 on all incoming travellers from the mainland – an order that remains in effect.

The worldwide surge in coronavirus cases prompted the government to impose the new restrictions on all foreign travellers.

A rush by people overseas to come back to Hong Kong before the mandatory quarantine has seen a recent surge in the number of imported coronavirus cases – with a record 14 new cases confirmed on Tuesday.

Under the new regulation, anyone coming to Hong Kong from a foreign country – including residents and non-residents – must spend 14 days in a location assigned by the authorities.

They can also quarantine themselves at home or at another location they propose – so long as it’s approved by an authorised official.

The quarantine order is to be enforced for three months, according to the gazette.

The regulations allow the government to exempt certain groups of people from the mandatory order, including those who are responsible for supplying vital goods or services to the territory; people who assist in government operations, or are helping to deal with the health crisis; along with other cases of ‘exceptional circumstance’ that serves the public interest.

The new order, together with the existing regulation covering mainland travellers, means only people from Macau and Taiwan who enter Hong Kong are not automatically subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.