Taiwanese authorities have slapped a $3,500 fine on a man who broke quarantine regulations for just eight seconds.
The man, a migrant worker from the Philippines, was quarantining in a hotel in Kaohsiung City when he briefly stepped out of his room into the hallway, the city’s Department of Health told Taiwan’s official Central News Agency (CNA).
The man was caught on CCTV by hotel staff, who contacted the Department of Health, CNA reported. The department fined him 100,000 Taiwan dollars – around $3,500.
Under Taiwan’s quarantine rules people are not allowed to leave their rooms, no matter for how long.
People in quarantine should not think they won’t be fined for leaving their hotel room, the Department of Health said, according to CNA.
There are 56 quarantine hotels in Kaohsiung City, with a total of around 3,000 rooms, the department told CNA.
CNN has contacted the department for comment.
Taiwan has been widely lauded for its approach to containing the Covid-19 pandemic. It has never had to enact strict lockdowns, nor did it resort to drastic restrictions on civil freedoms, like in mainland China.
Instead, Taiwan’s response focused on speed. Taiwanese authorities began screening passengers on direct flights from Wuhan, where the virus was first identified, on December 31, 2019 – back when the virus was mostly the subject of rumors and limited reporting.
The government also invested in mass testing and quick and effective contact tracing.
The island of 23 million people has recorded just 716 coronavirus cases and seven deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
CNN’s Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.