The quarantine rules for arrivals in the UK, South Africa and Eswatini have been relaxed
Taipei, April 7 (CNA) The strict quarantine requirements for arrivals from the UK, South Africa and Eswatini will be relaxed from Saturday as the COVID-19 situation in these countries has eased, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said on Wednesday .
Starting December 23, travelers who have visited the UK or traveled across the UK in the two weeks prior to arriving in Taiwan will be required to stay in state quarantine centers upon arrival, rather than being quarantined at home or in hotels like other travelers.
The same rules were introduced on January 14th for travelers from South Africa and Eswatini.
The stricter requirements were introduced because new variants of the COVID-19 virus had been discovered in the three countries and all in COVID-19 cases, Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Chen Shih-chung (陳 時 中), who oversees the The CECC said on Wednesday.
In addition, five travelers from the UK to Taiwan have been confirmed to be infected with one of the new variants of the virus, as have one traveler each from South Africa and Eswatini, Chen said.
However, in the past few months, the number of new cases reported in the three countries has decreased, Chen continued, and Taiwan has not seen any cases of the new variants reported in travelers from those countries.
The CECC has therefore decided to allow arrivals from the UK, South Africa and Eswatini to follow standard quarantine procedures so they can be quarantined at home or in hotels.
Also on Wednesday, Chen said the CECC revoked Mauritius’ low to moderate risk of COVID-19 status as the country saw an increase in the number of cases over the past two weeks.
In Taiwan, business travelers from countries with low to medium or low risk of COVID-19 can request quarantine for less than the normal 14 days, provided they take a self-paid COVID-19 test at the end of the quarantine period and es comes back negative.
People from low risk countries can request that their quarantine be lifted on the fifth day after their arrival, while people from low to medium risk countries can do so after seven days.
The current list of countries and regions where the CECC believes there is a low risk of COVID-19 are New Zealand, Macau, Palau, Fiji, Brunei, Laos, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Bhutan, Australia, Singapore and Vietnam.
Cambodia and Hong Kong are classified as low to moderate risk.
Chen also said Wednesday that the CECC is considering relaxing the rules that Taiwanese travelers visiting Palau under the bilateral “travel bubble” must follow upon their return to Taiwan.
Currently, such travelers are required to abide by “improved self-health management” rules for five days after their return, which prohibit them from going into public spaces and participating in group activities such as restaurants.
They must also record their daily activities and the people they come in contact with and report their health status to their local authorities.
After the five days, they must follow the regular self-health management rules for nine days. In doing so, they have to avoid going into public spaces and taking their temperatures twice a day.
Chen said the CECC is discussing the possibility of changing the requirement for travelers to just 14 days of regular self-health management as tour groups in Palau take thorough COVID-19 prevention measures.
The travel bubble was launched on April 1st and offers visitors on both sides optimized quarantine procedures.
(From Chiang Yi-ching)
Enditem / J.