TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Starting Wednesday (Aug. 12), all inbound travelers from the Philippines will be transported to designated quarantine centers instead of being allowed to go home after their arrival in Taiwan.
On Sunday (Aug. 9), Health Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced yet another coronavirus case from the Philippines, a Taiwanese woman who flew to the Philippines in January and returned to Taiwan on Friday (Aug. 7). He said the patient had experienced related symptoms, including a runny nose, cough, and temporary loss of smell, before her return.
Since July, Taiwan has reported 32 imported cases, 20 of which have been from the Philippines.
In response, Chen said that all incoming travelers from the Philippines, regardless of nationality, will be screened and tested for COVID-19 at the airport before being transported to designated facilities for a 14-day quarantine. He said the government will cover the entire quarantine expenses for Taiwanese nationals and foreigners with Alien Resident Certificates (ARC) or resident visas, while foreigners without the two identity documents will have to pay NT$1,500 (US$50) a day.
Meanwhile, foreign nationals who do not hold a residence permit in Taiwan are still required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result issued within three days prior to boarding the flight to Taiwan. Upon arrival in Taiwan, they will also be taken to quarantine centers and stay there for two weeks.
According to Chen, the percentage of foreign arrivals infected with COVID-19 is 0.03 percent on average, but more than five percent of those arriving from the Philippines have been testing positive for the disease. He stressed that the pandemic situation in the Southeast Asian nation has worsened in the last two weeks, with approximately 3,500 new infections reported daily, according to CNA.