SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- Three Vietnamese students will be deported from South Korea for violating self-quarantine rules, the justice ministry said Thursday.
The students, who have been in two-week self-isolation, allegedly went to a park in Gunsan, around 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on April 3 and stayed there for five hours, according to the ministry.
They left their mobile phones at their residences to avoid GPS tracking by local health authorities. But officials found out about their absence after making a landline call.
The three students, who arrived in South Korea between March 28 and April 1, were ordered to be isolated after testing negative for the novel coronavirus last week.
Starting April 1, the South Korean government has mandated self-isolation for all international arrivals. Those who violate the rules or report false information could face up to one year in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won (US$8,186).
The city government of Gunsan notified the justice ministry of the violation by the Vietnamese students, and the ministry decided to deport them.
South Korea reported 39 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the country's total infections to 10,423.