All travelers to Taiwan required to fill out health declaration

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CECC implements new measures to curb spread of coronavirus in Taiwan. 

CECC implements new measures to curb spread of coronavirus in Taiwan.  (CNA photo)

All travelers entering Taiwan, regardless of nationality or where their trip originated, will be required to submit a health declaration on arrival in the country, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.

The measure, which expands on a previous rule requiring all travelers arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to submit such a declaration, was announced Tuesday evening, though it had been in force since that afternoon.

The expanded provision is in response to the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus in countries like Singapore and Thailand, said Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The two countries have the highest number of confirmed cases outside of China, with 47 and 32 cases, respectively, as of Wednesday morning.

The health declaration requires travelers to state if they have any symptoms of the new coronavirus and whether they traveled to China, Hong Kong, and Macau in the 14 days prior to entering Taiwan. Individuals who report false information or refuse to submit the declaration can be fined up to NT$150,000 (US$4,962), a CDC official said.

As travelers arriving in Taiwan on Tuesday reported long lines filling out and submitting the declaration form, Chuang said the CDC could, in the future, offer passengers the option of completing the form online via a scannable QR code.

Taiwanese nationals who have visited China and its territories, or are arriving through those places have been required to remain in quarantine at home for 14 days since Feb.6. That provision is reiterated in the latest entry restrictions.

Chinese nationals, including those from Hong Kong and Macau, are denied entry into Taiwan with a few exceptions. Those with permission to enter the country are also required to undergo 14-day home quarantine.

Other foreign nationals who have visited China, Hong Kong, and Macau in the past 14 days are prohibited from entering Taiwan, with the exception of those with Taiwan residency permits, who have to remain in home quarantine for 14 days as well upon entry. Individuals under home quarantine are not allowed to leave their home and will be under electronic surveillance through government-provided cell phones as well as receive daily health-check calls from their ward chief.

Those who violate the terms of their home quarantine face penalties, including mandatory medical isolation and fines ranging from NT$10,000 to NT$300,000 under the Communicable Disease Control Act.