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Japanese man reported to police for violating self-isolation rule

National 16:14 July 08, 2020

BUSAN, July 8 (Yonhap) -- A Japanese national visiting South Korea's southern port city of Busan is facing a police investigation for failing to comply with the government's mandatory self-isolation rules aimed at containing the new coronavirus, authorities here said Wednesday.

Busan's health authorities said they have reported the Japanese, identified only as a man in his 50s, to the local police for leaving his designated self-isolation accommodation three times without permission after entering South Korea on Friday.

The man arrived in Busan by train on the afternoon of Friday from Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, before being tested for the coronavirus at Busan Station. The test produced a negative result on Sunday, but he was ordered to self-isolate at his place of accommodation for two weeks under Seoul's anti-COVID-19 quarantine rules.

The Japanese national is accused of making his first unauthorized departure from his accommodation in Dongnae Ward in Busan to withdraw cash from an ATM on the very first day of his self-isolation.

He again visited a post office and a large supermarket around noon on Tuesday, authorities said, adding his illegal trips were detected in a random inspection by municipal officials.

Under the compulsory quarantine measures, all entrants from overseas -- both Koreans and foreigners -- are obliged to self-isolate at their residences or government-designated facilities for 14 days. Foreigners refusing to accept the two-week self-isolation are denied entry to the country, while rule violators are fined and deported.

So far, 43 people have been caught leaving self-isolation places without permission in Busan. Four of them are foreigners, including the Japanese man. Thirty-two of them have been referred to the prosecution for punishment, while five others are under police probes. One person has been fined, and four others given a warning.

In Busan, cumulative COVID-19 cases totaled 156 as of Wednesday, with 2,882 people remaining under self-quarantine, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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