Recently, famous YouTuber GabieKook is under fire for having a "birthday party" during her quarantine after arriving from abroad. She has been under fire after recording the whole ordeal and posting it on her YouTube channel.
The video shows acquaintances visiting the YouTuber for her birthday. The acquaintances did not enter the house to have a full-on birthday party; however, GabieKook is seen lowering her mask to blow out the candles and such. The video has since been deleted after the controversy.
In the wake of the controversy, GabieKook posted an apology stating that she had inquired the health center about having acquaintances or family members over and what the guidelines are to the quarantine rules of visitation. Then she stated that she was permitted to have a face-to-face talk with acquaintances as long as she follows the quarantine guidelines.
However, many netizens still criticized the YouTuber despite her apology and explanation. The netizens commented, "Did you ask a public official if it was okay to have a party?" and "You state that you got permission but don't admit that you were careless."
On the other hand, many also stated that the guidelines are unclear and have stated, "If an individual follows the quarantine guidelines, then wouldn't it be possible to have visitation during the self-isolation period?"
In various online communities, there have been various discussions on whether there can be visitation in the residential area during the self-quarantine period. Some even stated that if the information on the possible visitation is true, the health center should take responsibility.
If it is as according to GabieKook, can individuals have visitation during the self-isolation period if they are being quarantined in a residential area?
The Yonhap News Agency confirmed the self-quarantine rules and reached out to the health center in charge of GabieKook's self-quarantine area to cover what guidance she inquired to the public health center.
According to the health center, it is visitation in which the visitors enter the home is prohibited, except for special circumstances such as emergencies and nursing needs.
According to the guidelines, any outside visitation during the self-quarantine period is prohibited. This includes family members who do not live with the individual, let alone any acquaintances.
The visitation defined by the guidelines means that the outsider enters the house past the front door. It does not include having a face-to-face talk outside the door.
In principle, outside visitation is prohibited; however, there are exceptions to the rules. If care services or nurse visitation is required, an official in charge of the relevant health center must be contacted before the visitation to receive permission.
If this is the case, would a face-to-face talk without having the acquaintances enter the home be allowed? According to the official from the health center, the visitation prohibition is to prevent the infection of relatives or acquaintances by prohibiting them from entering the house of the self-quarantine. It does not prohibit or ban people from delivering packages or briefly visiting to drop off commodities for livelihood.
In other words, visitation or face-to-face confrontation outside of the door is allowed to permit individuals to receive assistance and delivery for living essentials such as food.
However, the health official also stated that "birthday parties" are strictly prohibited. This is because the visitation, as seen in GabieKook's video, cannot be seen as "essential." Therefore, GabieKook's actions can be seen as a violation of the quarantine rules.
In the wake of the controversy, GabieKook stated that she had inquired with the health center before having the visitation.
However, it seems that GabieKook could have only inquired about the general guidelines to the visitation and did not mention the details such as a birthday celebration, according to the health center in Mapo, Seoul, in charge of GabieKook's self-isolation.
The health center in Mapo claimed that it is difficult to confirm if GabieKook had called the health center to inquire about the visitation since many phone calls are inquiring about the subject. However, the health center clarified they did not receive any phone calls inquiring about a birthday party or a birthday celebration.
The health center added, "If an individual asks us if they can have a birthday celebration even outside the door, we will tell them it is strictly prohibited. We tell the individuals that they may have visitors outside the door if they are family members who are only there briefly to bring food in the premise of complying with quarantine guidelines."
Meanwhile, the Mapo health center has requested an investigation on this matter on October 12. the health center sought out the investigation to determine whether GabieKook had violated the provisions of the Infectious Disease Prevention Act during her self-quarantine period.
GabieKook had deleted the video and her first apology, which stated that she inquired with the health center and uploaded a new apology letter.
In her second apology, she stated that she has no excuses and her completely her fault. She also stated that she would thoroughly follow the quarantine rules while she receives treatment. Additionally, all the videos on her YouTube channel are gone.
Regardless of her apology, netizens are still expressing their criticism and stating, "I don't understand her intentions of posting the video in the first place. It's very obvious her action would be a problem", "It seems like she wanted to show off her popularity or something. She needs to be punished for her actions", and "I think she thinks she's a huge celebrity. That's why she has a birthday celebration as soon as she gets to Korea. She's just careless and arrogant, in my opinion."