Taiwan to slap heavy fines on arrivals who fake COVID-19 test results

Negative test results required upon arrival in Taiwan starting Dec. 1

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport 

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Among the new border control measures that will kick in on Tuesday (Dec. 1) in Taiwan is a penalty for providing a falsified coronavirus report.

Individuals who show a fake negative COVID-19 test result upon arriving in the country will be fined between NT$10,000 (US$351) and NT$150,000 in line with the Communicable Disease Control Act, said the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

All inbound and transit passengers are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 NAT, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test within three days prior to departure. There are currently three types of passengers not required to submit a report: those coming to Taiwan for emergencies, those flying out from places where self-paid tests are not available, and specific cases that have obtained permits from the CECC.

This rule will be in effect between Dec. 1 and Feb. 28, 2021.

The fine was introduced following reports of multiple cases of Indonesian migrant workers presenting negative results upon entering Taiwan but tested positive afterward. The reports, submitted voluntarily, could be problematic due to the test procedures or because the tests were conducted when the virus was in its latent period, CNA quoted CECC Spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) as saying.

The coronavirus task force said it will work out methods of identifying the validity of passengers’ health reports. The public is also encouraged to report instances of COVID-19 test results being tampered with.

In light of the spike in cases among Indonesian workers, the CECC has banned eight agencies from importing laborers from the Southeast Asian country. Chuang said Taiwan is testing Indonesians when they end their quarantines because the majority of them are employed as caregivers, whose work necessitates extra disease control measures.

CECC announced in a briefing on Monday (Nov. 30) all Indonesian workers will be prohibited from entering Taiwan between Dec. 4 and 17 to stem the spread of the virus.

Updated : 2021-01-22 16:07 GMT+08:00