Coronavirus: Four Hongkongers under home quarantine caught while trying to leave city

Coronavirus: Four Hongkongers under home quarantine caught while trying to leave city

Bypassing quarantine measures is a criminal offence punishable by a maximum fine of HK$25,000 and six months’ jail

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A part of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in Guangdong. One Hongkonger meant to be under quarantine attempted to flee the city using the bridge.
Photo: SCMP / Dickson Lee

Authorities in Hong Kong have intercepted four Hongkongers, meant to be under home quarantine amid the coronavirus outbreak, in separate cases as they attempted to leave the city for Macau or mainland China.

The Department of Health said they were immediately sent to a quarantine facility and investigated by police.

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Among them, two men, aged 41 and 37, were served summons on Monday, the first such prosecutions since the new compulsory quarantine measures kicked in on February 8.

The pair were stopped at border check points at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and Shenzhen Bay. For the remaining two individuals, the department and police continue to gather evidence for prosecution.

According to the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation, all travellers except those exempted are subject to a mandatory quarantine of 14 days if they have been to the mainland in the two weeks before arrival in Hong Kong.

Attempting to bypass the quarantine requirement is a criminal offence. Offenders face a maximum fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,200) and imprisonment of six months.

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Separately, in a response to a media report about two people under compulsory home quarantine at a subdivided flat leaving over the lack of toilet facilities, the department said it had contacted the pair and noted that conditions were suitable.

It said one person had admitted to going out without permission to buy food. A warning letter was issued.

The department reminded them that the home affairs and social welfare departments could provide help.

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