A Seoul court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for a South Korean man on charges of violating self-isolation rules, the first formal detention of an alleged quarantine offender.
The Seoul Eastern District Court approved the police's request to arrest a 68-year-old man who went outside despite being under coronavirus-related self-isolation.
The court cited a high risk of him fleeing and the severity of allegations against him.
The resident, who has tested negative for COVID-19 in the southeastern ward of Songpa, is alleged to have visited a spa and a restaurant though he was under two-week self-isolation after arriving here last week, according to the police.
Earlier, the South Korean police said they would deal with self-isolators in a "stern" manner and probe whether self-isolation violators repeatedly breached the rules, attempted to hide their itinerary or came in contact with other people.
Police have so far probed 28 people for violating self-isolation guidelines. The cases for three of them have been referred to the prosecution.
South Korea has tightened measures related to the virus, such as imposing mandatory two-week self-isolation on all international arrivals. Those who breach self-isolation rules could face up to one year in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won ($8,197).
The country has reported 10,564 COVID-19 cases since its first case on Jan. 20. (Yonhap)