2021-09-06

Traveller's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus from Quarantine Hotel Rejected

A traveller returning to Taiwan last month challenged the CDC's decision requiring her to stay in a quarantine hotel or a quarantine station for 14 days after her return.  The traveller petitioned the Taipei District Court for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that her own residence could provide effective quarantine, and that the Government lacks authority to force citizens to stay in quarantine hotels.  The Court rejected her petition, holding that a writ of habeas corpus is not the proper remedy for this issue.

In the proceeding, the traveller stated that she understands the necessity of quarantine during the pandemic, but maintained that her own residence contains a separate bathroom and bedroom, and thus meets the "one room one person" requirement for an effective quarantine.  She  asserted that the CDC has given no rationale nor has the authority to force her to stay in a quarantine hotel.

The CDC pointed out that it has issued an announcement on 25 June requiring all persons entering Taiwan after 27 June to stay in a quarantine hotel or a quarantine station for 14 days.  The rational behind this measure is based on the consideration that there have been in-family infections in home quarantine cases, as well as to prevent the Delta variant of the virus from entering the community.  

The Taipei District Court found that the traveller did travel to Turkey and the United States 14 days before entering Taiwan, and that the CDC had asked her to provide a health declaration, and had properly issued her a quarantine notice.  The Court concluded that the CDC's detaining of the traveller in a quarantine hotel from 10 through 24 August was done in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Communicable Disease Control Act.  The Court also indicated that the CDC's order at issue is an administrative disposition, and thus a person objecting to the order as unlawful should instead seek remedy through an administrative appeal rather than petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus.
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