[Photo/IC]

HONG KONG — Three men were sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 10 days to three months on Monday after breaching the compulsory quarantine regulation in Hong Kong amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first such cases since the COVID-19 outbreak.

A man, 31, will be jailed for three months as he intentionally provided a fake home address to an authorized officer when entering Hong Kong through Shenzhen Bay Port border control point on March 8.

He pleaded guilty at the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts on Monday morning.

The judge said the man’s act of providing false information was selfish and showed disregard of social safety, and could frustrate the joint efforts of the Hong Kong society to fight the epidemic.

The other two, aged 37 and 41, were sentenced at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts to imprisonment for 10 days and six weeks respectively as they, after being put under quarantine, illegally left the designated residences and tried to leave Hong Kong.

The sentences sent a clear message that breaching quarantine orders is a criminal offense, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said in a statement, stressing that compliance with quarantine orders is of paramount importance in Hong Kong’s fight against COVID-19.

The HKSAR government has imposed compulsory quarantines on inbound visitors at home or quarantine centers. Violators face maximum imprisonment for six months and a fine of 25,000 Hong Kong dollars (more than $3,000).