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Taiwan to impose new coronavirus restrictions on airline crews

Isolation should be extended from 3 to 7 days: CECC

Airline staff preparing to board a flight at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport 

Airline staff preparing to board a flight at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following the infection of three people by a New Zealand pilot violating prevention rules, airline crews will have to spend seven days isolated at home and test negative for the coronavirus (COVID-19) before they can return to a normal life, reports said Saturday (Dec. 25).

Under existing regulations, pilots and cabin staff only needed to stay indoors three to five days following their arrival in Taiwan, CNA reported. Talks between the airlines, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) and the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) resulted in a preliminary consensus to extend the isolation period to seven days.

However, if they had to go back to work within seven days, they could do so, but without leaving isolation during their period in Taiwan between two flights, the CECC said. More details would still have to be discussed and reviewed before a final package of preventive measures would be unveiled to the public.

A pilot for EVA Air caused widespread outrage and consternation by violating quarantine rules and traveling around, visiting department stores and supermarkets while hiding his condition from the airline and the health authorities.

Two fellow pilots and a woman friend became infected by him, with the Taiwanese woman counting as the country’s first domestic transmission in eight months. EVA Air sacked the New Zealander, who also faces fines from local governments.