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Arrivals from India, SE Asia must wait at Taiwan airport for PCR results

Starting Jan. 20, passengers from India, SE Asia must wait for PCR results before they can leave airport

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Passenger at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport questioned by epidemic prevention personnel on Jan. 12.

Passenger at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport questioned by epidemic prevention personnel on Jan. 12. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Jan. 19) announced that starting on Thursday (Jan. 20), passengers arriving from India and Southeast Asian countries must wait at the airport until they receive the results of a PCR test.

Early this month, the CECC began requiring passengers arriving on long-haul flights to undergo a PCR test upon arrival. The definition of a long-haul flight at the time was one that had originated from Europe, the U.S., the Middle East, New Zealand, and Australia.

If the test result is negative, the passenger can then be transported to their arranged quarantine facilities. However, if they test positive, they will be taken to a hospital for further testing and treatment.

On Wednesday, CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that in light of rising cases of the Omicron variant in India and Southeast Asia, flights from these locations will be designed long-haul flights. Therefore, starting on Thursday, passengers arriving from India and Southeast Asia must also wait at the airport for the results of a government-paid rapid PCR test.

The Southeast Asian countries on the list include the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Chen said that those who test negative will continue with the entry and customs clearance process and should take a quarantine taxi to an epidemic prevention hotel or a quarantine center.

Those who receive a positive test result will be assigned a staff member who will ensure they complete the documentation process and then have them transported to a hospital, quarantine center, or enhanced version of an epidemic prevention hotel. The CECC calls on passengers to cooperate with the new entry quarantine procedures.