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Taiwan declares Level-3 warning for 42 countries

Taiwan CDC adds 42 countries to 14-day quarantine list

Chen Shih-chung.

Chen Shih-chung. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Arrivals from 42 countries will have to spend 14 days in quarantine beginning Tuesday (March 17), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Monday (March 16).

As new cases of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) have started to pour in from overseas, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Monday raised its alert for 42 countries and one territory in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa to a Level-3 warning. This means that effective Tuesday, all visitors from the designated areas will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

The countries and territory covered by this announcement are as follows: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. Travelers from these countries will be required to follow a 14-day period of home quarantine after entering Taiwan.

This list has been added to 27 European countries and Dubai, which were listed as Level 3 on March 14, as well as Iran, China, South Korea, and Italy.

On Saturday (March 14), Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed three new cases of COVID-19, all of whom had traveled to European countries, including the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and France. On Sunday (March 15), the CECC reported six additional cases, who had a recent history of travel to the Middle East, Europe, and Japan.

Imported cases continued to stream in as eight more were confirmed on Monday, the largest single-day increase since the outbreak began. During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that Cases 60 through 67 had traveled to Italy, Germany, Greece, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, Spain, and Turkey before returning to Taiwan.

Chen said that people who travel to countries and territories designated as Level 3 will not be eligible for the NT$1,000 (US$33) quarantine stipend when they return to Taiwan. He added that those who provide inaccurate information when they enter quarantine (such as by giving false contact details or failing to fill out all the fields) will be subject to Article 58 and 59 of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法) and will be levied an NT$150,000 fine.

In addition, those who violate relevant quarantine regulations will face fines of between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million and their names will be made public, said Chen.