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Chinese man deported after refusing to quarantine, fleeing

14:29 January 24, 2023

SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- The government has deported a Chinese national arrested for going into hiding without entering mandatory quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in South Korea earlier this month, officials said Tuesday.

The 41-year-old was deported on Jan. 13, eight days after he was arrested for refusing to quarantine and fleeing upon testing positive for the virus following his arrival at Incheon International Airport on Jan. 3.

"He was referred to the prosecution after a police investigation on charges of violating the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act, but it takes more than a month before a court trial," an official of the Central Disaster Management Headquarters.

"We had to release him, because the case does not constitute a reason for formal arrest and the Immigration Service took the measure of forced deportation, which the agency can take on its own without a court trial," the official said.

A fine could be imposed after the prosecution takes the case to court, the official said. Up to one year in prison or 10 million won (US$8,121) in fine can be imposed for violators of the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act.

The Chinese man has also reportedly been barred from entering South Korea for one year.

In this file photo, a 41-year-old Chinese man (C) is taken to a hotel, designated by the government as a temporary quarantine facility for entrants from China, in Incheon, 27 kilometers west of Seoul, on Jan. 5, 2023, two days after he escaped from the hotel following the detection of his COVID-19 infection upon entering South Korea via Incheon International Airport. South Korea began to require a PCR test for all entrants from the neighboring country on Jan. 2. (Yonhap)


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