Police locate 2 people who fled coronavirus quarantine

Centre for Health Protection personnel at Hong Mei House in Tsing Yi. Screengrab via Facebook/RTHK.
Centre for Health Protection personnel at Hong Mei House in Tsing Yi. Screengrab via Facebook/RTHK.

Police say they have successfully tracked down two people who absconded from their mandatory coronavirus quarantine.

Now TV reported last night that officers were able to contact the duo and took statements from them on Wednesday. The government said they would consider taking further action, but no further details were given.

The duo were among the more than 2,000 people entering Hong Kong from the mainland who were put into a compulsory 14-day quarantine that came into effect on Feb. 8.

Warrants for the pair’s arrest were issued on Monday after authorities revealed that police had been unable to contact them and they couldn’t be found in their homes. At the time, Health Secretary Sophia Chan warned that those being quarantined at home or in a hotel will be put on a sort of three-strike system should they violate the order: strike one will be met with a warning, strike two will result in them being given an electronic monitoring tag, and strike three will see them transferred to a quarantine camp.

The news comes as the authorities announced that they will be stepping up the surveillance of those under compulsory quarantine.

In a statement published last night, the Department of Health said that those under home quarantine who fail to share their real-time locations with their mobile phones will be required to wear an electronic monitoring tag. The Department of Health will also be making “surprise video calls” to make sure that quarantined persons are staying at home.

The authorities also reminded people that those who break quarantine could face a maximum fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,200), and up to six months behind bars.

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