A South Korean man was jailed for four months on Tuesday for breaking coronavirus quarantine rules , authorities said , in the country ’s first such prison sentence .
South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the virus – at one point the second – worst- hit nation after mainland China – but appears to have largely brought it under control thanks to an extensive “trace , test and treat ” programme .
Life in the country is returning largely to normal and hundreds of thousands of South Korean pupils have gone back school after a delay of more than two months , in a process being closely watched as parts of Europe start to re -open .
The jailed man , 27 , was arrested in April after breaking the quarantines rules twice .
He left his residence while under 14 -day self – isolation and was then moved to a quarantine facility, where he was again caught leaving without permission.
The man was “convicted of violating the Infectious Diseases Control and Prevention Act , and was given four months in jail ”, an official at the Uijeongbu District Court told AFP .
Prosecutors had requested a one-year prison sentence .
South Korean authorities are stepping up measures to try to prevent outbreaks recurring following a nightclub cluster earlier this month, and from Tuesday people are obliged to wear masks when using public transport and taxis nationwide .
In February , the country ’s National Assembly passed a law imposing maximum sentences of one year in prison or a 10 – million -won ( $8 ,000 ) fine for deliberately breaking infectious diseases quarantine .
Officials in the East Asian nation of 52 million announced 19 new cases Tuesday , taking its total to 11 ,225