Coronavirus: four Hongkongers under home quarantine intercepted while trying to leave city

Danny Mok

Four Hongkongers under home quarantine amid the coronavirus outbreak have been intercepted in separate cases by authorities while attempting to leave the city for mainland China or Macau.

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

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

The pair were stopped at border checkpoints at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and Shenzhen Bay. For the remaining two individuals, the department and police continued 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.

Contravening the quarantine requirement is a crime, and offenders face a maximum fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,200) and imprisonment of six months.

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 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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