TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Barring any major changes with the outbreak, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) is planning on extending the Level 2 epidemic control alert beyond its original Aug. 9 end date.
During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Health and Welfare Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced there were only six local COVID-19 cases that day, the lowest single-day local case count since May 10. The CECC did not announce any deaths, leaving the COVID death toll at 791.
When asked by the media on Thursday whether regulations would be loosened or tightened on Aug. 9 when the current Level 2 restrictions expire, Chen said that it has only been a little over a week since Level 2 measures were implemented on July 27. He said that although there has not been a noticeable uptick in cases, the observation period is still too short.
Therefore, based on the assumption that the situation with the outbreak has remained unchanged, Chen said the plan is to maintain the current Level 2 restrictions on Aug. 10. In terms of which industries will be reopened or what restrictions may be loosened on that date, Chen said the center is leaning toward making slight adjustments within the existing framework.
Amid reports the U.S. is developing a plan to require all foreign visitors to be vaccinated, Chen was asked if Taiwan would be changing its border quarantine measures. In response, Chen said that for the moment, vaccine entry requirements are not being considered, while the three mandatory COVID tests and a 14-day quarantine will continue to be the main line of defense.
Chen said that even in countries such as Israel where 70% of the population has had at least one vaccine dose, once the Delta strain entered the country, COVID cases are now ranging between 3,000 to 5,000 per day. Due to concerns about the importation of the Delta variant, Chen said existing border controls will remain in place, but restrictions on movement inside the country will be gradually relaxed.