CECC says flights between Taiwan and Vietnam to resume soon

Vietnam puts Taiwan on 'safe' countries list, CECC says Taiwan negotiating opening borders with several nations

Vietnam Airlines flight attendant wearing face mask.

Vietnam Airlines flight attendant wearing face mask. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A day after Vietnam's government said it had placed Taiwan on its list of considered destinations for flights, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (June 10) said flights between Taiwan and Vietnam would resume soon.

Vietnam Television (VTV) on Tuesday (June 9) reported Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as saying that Taiwan was on a list of "safe countries" with which it plans to prioritize the resumption of international flights. During his weekly press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that Taiwan is currently in negotiations with several countries about opening their borders, adding the report from Vietnam was accurate, with the exact date of opening still being discussed.

Chen said that once borders are opened to select countries, those planning on a long stay will still be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Taiwan. He said that in the case of short-term visits, such as by business travelers, shorter quarantine periods are being considered.

Regarding the rules for business travelers, Chen said that a meeting will be held to finalize the details on June 16 and the results will be announced on June 17. Chen said the CECC is considering shortening quarantine periods to five, seven, and 10 days, depending on the level of risk assessed for a given country of origin.

Chen reiterated that foreign visitors must present a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test certificate showing they have tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). As for transfer flights, CECC deputy chief Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) said that discussions about the implementation of international transfers have been held with the Civil Aeronautics Administration and Taiwan's two major airlines have commenced, with the results to be reported to the CECC this week.

When the pandemic was rapidly escalating in Asia, Vietnam imposed a ban on foreign visitors on March 22 and suspended international flights on March 25. Taiwan banned all foreign travelers on March 19 and halted all international transits on March 24.

Both countries have since been lauded for quickly bringing local infections under control. Taiwan reported 443 cases and seven deaths, while Vietnam recorded 332 cases and no deaths.