Taiwan considers allowing visits by business travelers

Under consideration is plan for visitors to stay in quarantine 5 days, be allowed out 2 or 3 days, then get tested again

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Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic 

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis recedes in Taiwan, the nation is considering loosening restrictions on visits by business travelers, with details to be worked out later, reports said Saturday (May 16).

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced no new cases for the ninth consecutive day Saturday and 34 days without domestic transmissions. As a result, media reports have started to speculate about the lifting of certain restrictions.

If, for example, after five days a coronavirus test for a business visitor were to come back negative, the individual could be allowed to travel for two or three days, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) told reporters Saturday.

Details of the plan are still being worked out, such as which countries would benefit from the more flexible rules and whether travelers would have to present a health certificate before boarding their flight to Taiwan, Chen said. The international trend to establish “bubbles,” or groups of countries between which travel would be allowed, will play an important part in the design process.

According to the minister, short-term visitors would have to spend five days in isolation first, and if they at that point test negative for coronavirus, they would be allowed two or three days before taking another test, CNA reported.

The key points of the new measures under consideration are how to follow up on the visitor’s contacts during those two or three days and how to monitor their health, the minister said.