WUHAN VIRUS/Quarantined couple prevented from leaving country

Taipei (CNA) A couple residing in New Taipei who had been subject to home quarantine on fears of novel coronavirus infection were caught trying to travel to China from offshore Kinmen County Thursday, according to an immigration officer.

A man identified by his surname Chiang (?) and his wife were intercepted at Shuitou Port around 1 p.m. by customs officers when attempting to board a ferry to China after flying from Taipei to the offshore island earlier the same day.

The couple were discovered to have breached Taiwan's home quarantine regulations because a home quarantine notice was attached to their passports, said Huang Chin shui (???), captain of the Border Affairs Corps under the National Immigration Agency.

After learning that the couple had returned to Taiwan from Xiamen in China's Fujian Province on Sunday and were planning to go back to China, immigration agents immediately notified the Kinmen office of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) while instructing the couple to return to their home in New Taipei and remain under home quarantine, Huang said.

Despite the pair's complaints that they are not sick, immigration officers finally persuaded them, accompanied by local CDC officials, to take a bus to Kinmen airport where they took a flight back to Taiwan.

Wu Chun hui (???), head of the CDC's Kinmen office, said an investigation has been launch to check why the couple were not stopped at the airport in Taiwan before flying to Kinmen.

Wu warned that anyone who contravenes home quarantine regulations risks a maximum fine of NT$150,000 (US$5,000) as in this case.

The Central Epidemic Command Center announced on Wednesday that starting Thursday, Taiwan nationals who have recently visited China, Hong Kong and Macau are required by the government to remain quarantined at their homes for 14 days upon returning to Taiwan.

From Friday, residents of Macau and Hong Kong who travel to Taiwan will also be required to remain quarantined at their residence in Taiwan for 14 days.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel