Taiwan raises travel alerts for 10 countries in Europe, Middle East

Wuhan virus pushing further west, has taken hold in many European and Middle Eastern countries

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Worker sprays disinfectant in museum in medieval castle Maschio Angioino.

Worker sprays disinfectant in museum in medieval castle Maschio Angioino. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday (March 11) raised the travel advisories for 10 countries in Europe and the Middle East amid the escalating threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

A Level-2 alert, or yellow alert, has been issued for Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Individuals planning to visit these countries are advised to reconsider their plans.

The ministry has already put in place a yellow alert for France, Germany, and Spain, while the highest alert, red, has been imposed on Italy. This means residents are urged against traveling to Italy, which is the hardest-hit country outside China.

Travelers returning from these countries are required to monitor their health for 14 days following their arrival in Taiwan, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). The monitoring entails staying home as much as possible and taking one’s body temperature twice a day.

Meanwhile, MOFA announced a Level-1 alert for 16 other European countries, which also necessitates 14-day health monitoring for those returning from there. They include Greece, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Finland, Slovenia, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, the UK, and Ireland.

MOFA relies on a four-tiered travel advisory regarding safety and security risks. Grey signifies caution should be exercised; yellow suggests travel should be reconsidered; orange indicates unnecessary travel should be avoided; and red asks residents not to travel to the destination.