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Taiwan tightening COVID rules for flight crews despite dwindling local cases

Authorities say border controls to be beefed up to ward off COVID variants

Airline pilots (Getty Images )

Airline pilots (Getty Images )

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is implementing stricter COVID-19 rules for flight crews of airlines registered in the country, signaling tightened border controls in the months ahead.

Starting Wednesday (July 21), all members of cabin crews returning from long-haul flights will be required to take two PCR tests, including one upon arrival. Previously, only one such test was mandatory for these individuals, conducted at the end of their quarantine, wrote CNA.

In addition, aircrews are asked to enforce self-health monitoring even if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID. This means they are prohibited from using public transportation or visiting places where social distancing is not applicable, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration.

Meanwhile, cabin members returning from high-risk countries will be obliged to quarantine at designated COVID hotels or dorms from Wednesday rather than having the option of home isolation. Countries currently deemed high-risk include Brazil, India, the U.K., Peru, Israel, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.

Taiwan is expected to lower its COVID curbs after the Level 3 alert ends on July 26, as the local outbreaks that began in May are believed to have been brought under control. Nevertheless, the Central Epidemic Command Center has indicated no plans to relax border controls amid the ongoing threat of variants such as the highly transmissible Delta.

Updated : 2021-07-29 18:30 GMT+08:00