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Two persons sentenced for breaching compulsory quarantine order

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     Two persons were sentenced by the magistrates’ courts today (May 13) for violating the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap. 599C).
 
     The first case involved a woman aged 46, who was earlier issued a compulsory quarantine order stating that she must conduct quarantine at a hotel for 14 days. Before the expiry of the quarantine order, she left the place of quarantine on April 1, 2021, without reasonable excuse nor permission given by an authorised officer and was stopped by an immigration officer at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point. The woman was then conveyed to the Tso Kung Tam Outdoor Recreation Centre (the Quarantine Centre) on the same day for serving the remaining quarantine period. However, she escaped from the Quarantine Centre on April 11 and 13, 2021. She was charged with three counts of contravening sections 8(1) and 8(5) and one count of contravening sections 8(4) and 8(5) of the Regulation and was sentenced by the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts today to immediate imprisonment for a total of six weeks.
 
     The second case involved a man aged 29, who was earlier issued a compulsory quarantine order stating that he must conduct quarantine at home for 14 days. Before the expiry of the quarantine order, he left the place of quarantine on October 29, 2020, without reasonable excuse nor permission given by an authorised officer. He was charged with contravening sections 8(1) and 8(5) of the Regulation and was sentenced by the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts today to immediate imprisonment for six days.
     
     Breaching a quarantine order is a criminal offence and offenders are subject to a maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months. A spokesman for the Department of Health said the sentences send a clear message to the community that breaching a compulsory quarantine order is a criminal offence that the Government will not tolerate, and solemnly reminded the public to comply with the regulations. As of today, a total of 137 persons have been convicted by the courts for breaching compulsory quarantine orders and have received sentences including immediate imprisonment for up to 14 weeks or a fine of up to $15,000. The spokesman reiterated that resolute actions will be taken against anyone who has breached the relevant regulations.