A man in Taiwan wears a face mask while cleaning a handrail behind a sign telling people how to wash their hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images
  • A man in Taiwan was fined the equivalent of more than R50,000 for breaking quarantine for eight seconds. 
  • The man had stepped out of his room at a quarantine hotel in Kaohsiung City and was captured on surveillance camera by staff, who reported him to the local health department, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA).
  • Health officials said the man had left his room for eight seconds to leave something at the door of his friend, who was staying on the same floor of the hotel.
  • Taiwan has a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine for anyone who enters the country amid the ongoing pandemic. Guests are not allowed to leave their hotel room for any reason.
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A man in Taiwan has been fined the equivalent of more than R50,000 for breaking quarantine rules for eight seconds, according to health officials. 

The man - identified by officials as a migrant worker from the Philippines - briefly stepped out of his room at a quarantine hotel (one of the 56 hotels in Kaohsiung City offering a total of 3,000 rooms for quarantine purposes) and was captured on surveillance camera by hotel staff, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA)

Health officials said the man had left his room for eight seconds to leave something at the door of his friend, who was staying on the same floor of the quarantine hotel. 

Hotel staff reported the man to the city's health department. He was fined NT$100,000. 

Taiwan has a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine for anyone who enters the country amid the ongoing pandemic

Guests are not allowed to leave their hotel room for any reason. Similar restrictions have been imposed in other countries including Australia and South Korea

A poster advising people to throw their used masks into a trash can at a subway station in Taipei, Taiwan, during the pandemic.
Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Kaohsiung City's health department told CNA that hotel managers have been asked to closely monitor quarantine guests after the country saw a recent spike in COVID-19 infections among travellers. 

The average number of people quarantining in the city stands at 3,859 as of December 6, CNA reported. Fines for breaking quarantine restrictions in Kaohsiung City can range from NT$100,000 to NT$1 million (more than R500,000).

Taiwan has only recorded 724 Covid-19 cases and seven deaths during the pandemic, according to John Hopkins University. Instead of going into a strict lockdown, the country immediately invested in mass testing and contact tracing. 

It also began screening travellers as early as December 31, when news of the virus first broke.

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