Taiwan prepares for first flight from UK since emergence of mutant coronavirus strain

120 passengers expected to arrive in Taiwan from London Sunday evening

London's Heathrow Airport in June 

London's Heathrow Airport in June  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A China Airlines (CAL) plane carrying 120 passengers will on Sunday (Dec. 27) be the first flight to arrive from the United Kingdom following the emergence of a new mutant strain of the coronavirus in the European country, leading Taiwan to take extra precautions.

While several countries have banned all flights from the UK, Taiwan has only cut the number of flights in half. The first one to arrive since the new COVID-19 strain reared its head is scheduled to leave London late Saturday night (Dec. 26) and arrive at Taoyuan International Airport Sunday at 6:15 p.m., the Liberty Times reported.

As soon as passengers disembark, they will be guided into a special room where arrival procedures and initial testing will be conducted before six buses take them to a special quarantine facility.

The plane's crew will now also have to spend 14 days self-isolating under new measures implemented to stop the mutant strain from entering Taiwan. Early testing should help prevent the strain from spreading and can also provide local researchers with interesting data if one of the arrivals tests positive, CNA reported.

With the number of passengers arriving from the UK estimated at 100 per week and arriving migrant workers from Indonesia temporarily banned, quarantine centers are able to manage the daily flux of arrivals, the Central Epidemic Command Center said.

Updated : 2021-02-27 07:07 GMT+08:00