Briton jailed for breaking Singapore's strict quarantine rules

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Singapore court sentenced a British man to two weeks in jail on Friday after he sneaked out of his hotel room to meet his then fiancée while undergoing two weeks of mandatory coronavirus quarantine in the city-state.Nigel Skea, 52, was also fined S$1,000 ($752.56) for leaving his room three times on Sept. 21 last year, judge Jasvender Kaur said.

On one occasion he left his room to meet his Singaporean partner Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, who was not in quarantine but had booked a room in the same hotel. Skea was also not wearing a mask, which is required in Singapore.

Eyamalai, 39, who married Skea in November, was sentenced to one week imprisonment for abetting him.

The couple had both pleaded guilty and their lawyer S.S. Dhillon said they would not appeal the sentencing.

The city-state has largely brought its coronavirus outbreak under control, with less than a handful of new local cases a day, due to strict quarantining of arrivals, contact-tracing and social distancing.

Singapore requires most arrivals to undergo 14 days of quarantine at government-designated hotels. Quarantine violations can be penalised with a fine of up to S$10,000 or up to six months in jail, or both.

The island nation has jailed and fined others for breaking COVID-19 rules, while some foreigners have also had their work permits revoked.

($1 = 1.3288 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by Ed Davies and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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