People infected with quarantinable infectious diseases or suspected epidemic victims who refuse to receive isolated observation or fail to truthfully fill out their health declaration forms at border checkpoints, such as international airports, in China, could face criminal penalties, according to a guideline made public Monday.
The guideline was jointly released by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice and the General Administration of Customs amid the country's efforts to strengthen quarantine measures to guard against imported COVID-19 cases.
The guideline listed six kinds of behaviors that could constitute the crime of impairing frontier quarantine measures, targeting individuals who spread or risk spreading a quarantinable infectious disease identified by the State Council, including plague, cholera, yellow fever and COVID-19.
Among the listed behaviors is evading quarantine inspection of any special articles such as exported or imported microorganisms, human body tissues, biological products, blood and its products that may spread infectious diseases.
The person in charge of the exit or entry conveyance where a confirmed or suspected epidemic victim is found should also be punished if he or she refuses to accept quarantine inspection.
According to China's Criminal Law, whoever violates the provisions on frontier health and quarantine inspection and causes the spread or a grave danger of the spread of a quarantinable infectious disease shall face penalties ranging from a fine to imprisonment of no more than three years.
The guideline asked public security authorities to promptly handle related cases in accordance with the law and fast-track and expose such criminal activities during the COVID-19 prevention and control period to have a strong deterrent effect. Enditem