Two men fined $3,600 each for leaving quarantine for 1 minute — Analysis

For sneaking out to purchase snacks, a pair of Taiwanese migrant workers were hit with hefty penalties

Taiwanese authorities have fined NT$100,000. (US$3,610 each) to two Indonesian fishermen for not staying in their quarantine rooms for more than a minute.

They had arrived by plane in Taiwan on November 15, 2020, and were checked into quarantine facilities. The men left their homes to purchase food in the early hours of November 22.

The staff asked them to immediately return to their rooms after they entered a lobby of a hotel. They did so and were not disappointed. Taiwanese media reports that they had been absent for less than a minute and were then told by staff to return to their rooms immediately.

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Officials announced Monday that the two men owed NT$270,000 (roughly $9,700) in fees and fines for failing to pay on time. The sum was eventually paid by their employer.

It has one of the toughest quarantine laws in the entire world. According to 2020 reports, an migrant worker in the Philippines was punished with a fine of around US$3,500 after he left his Kaohsiung quarantine room for only eight seconds.

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