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Taiwan to trial 7-day quarantine for those vaccinated in May

Pilot program will allow vaccinated individuals to cut quarantine time in half

Syringe being inserted into AstraZeneca vaccine vial.

Syringe being inserted into AstraZeneca vaccine vial. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — With 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine shots administered worldwide as of Saturday (April 24), Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (April 26) announced that it would start a pilot program in May that will allow people arriving in Taiwan from overseas to cut their mandatory quarantine down to seven days.

During a press conference on Monday, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that it will launch a pilot program in May allowing COVID-vaccinated people to shorten their mandatory quarantine from 14 days to seven days. However, openings will be limited and applicants must meet four criteria to be eligible:

  1. Completion of both doses of COVID-19 vaccine one month before arrival
  2. Certificate of negative PCR test
  3. Positive test for antibodies upon arrival
  4. Negative PCR test on seventh day of quarantine

As more countries open their borders to travelers who have been vaccinated, Chen was asked if Taiwan has a plan to allow such visitors to shorten or avoid quarantine. In response, Chen said that because there is no internationally recognized standard for determining whether a person is infectious after vaccination, Taiwan has been cautious in opening up its borders to vaccinated individuals.

When asked whether progress has been made on a plan to process vaccinated passengers, Chen said the matter has been under discussion for quite some time and the center is still studying a feasible and reliable method. Chen stated that he anticipates that a small-scale pilot scheme will be launched in mid-May and the plan has already been submitted for approval.

He said that according to the plan, vaccinated visitors will be able to apply in advance to have their quarantine cut in half from 14 days to seven days. Chen stated the preliminary plan is to open for 100 people per day.