Taiwan offers coronavirus tests to citizens traveling or studying overseas

Despite worldwide level-3 travel warning, applicants can pay for coronavirus test before going abroad

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Taiwan expands testing possibilities (CNA, ITRI photo) 

Taiwan expands testing possibilities (CNA, ITRI photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese who want to travel or study overseas will be allowed to pay for coronavirus tests even if they plan to visit countries outside of Southeast Asia, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday (May 23).

The idea of paying for virus testing was introduced in April but restricted to a limited number of countries, such as China and Southeast Asian nations, and to people with serious medical conditions, CNA reported.

Since the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) threat is receding in Taiwan and the ability to conduct tests has improved, the time has come to reduce restrictions, officials said. At the same time, other countries are introducing requirements for health certificates and testing.

The maximum number of tests would be set at one every three months. At present, there are 18 hospitals across the nation qualified to test for coronavirus, CNA reported.

Even so, the CECC noted that the world was still covered by a level-3 travel warning, so citizens should first seriously consider whether they really need to travel overseas. They should also look closely at the travel restrictions imposed by other countries to ensure they would be allowed to return home, the CECC said.

Some countries have imposed a complete lockdown, while others require arriving passengers to spend 14 days in quarantine.