Taiwan to shorten quarantine for short-term business travelers

People arriving from countries with lower coronavirus risks can expect to undergo just 5 days in isolation

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Arriving visitors are asked to submit health statements at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in February.

Arriving visitors are asked to submit health statements at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in February. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Business travelers from countries with lower coronavirus risks will be subject to a shortened quarantine upon entry to Taiwan as the country prepares to relax its border controls.

Individuals visiting Taiwan for business purposes and on a short-term stay will be placed under quarantine for five to ten days, instead of the 14-day practice adopted by most countries including Taiwan. The days required for their isolation hinge on the virus conditions in their country of departure, wrote CNA.

For travelers arriving from “extremely low-risk” countries such as New Zealand, they will be quarantined for five days. They will then receive a coronavirus test and be released if they test negative, according to Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), spokesman for the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Those arriving from “low-risk” countries will be isolated for ten days before undergoing testing, after which they will be released, depending on the result. Visitors will shoulder the cost of the testing and be asked to self-monitor their health for 21 days following the mandated quarantine.

People planning a long-term sojourn in Taiwan will still be subject to a 14-day quarantine, and visitors from high-risk areas will continue to be banned from entering the country.

The designation of risk levels will be based on criteria such as the ratio of confirmed cases to the total cases of a country in a given period of time, according to Chen Shih-chun (陳時中), head of the CECC. Details of the scheme will be announced in the coming days.

Taiwan has teamed up with Stanford University in the U.S. to work out the shortest possible isolation requirement for travelers, which will provide a model for restoring international travel. The collaboration involves Stanford University School of Medicine sending 500 people from San Francisco to Taipei, where they will undergo testing every two days in a 14-day quarantine period.