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Health ministry aims to loosen Taiwan's border controls by November

Taiwan mulls relaxed border controls when full vaccination rate reaches 30%

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Health ministry aims to loosen Taiwan's border controls by November

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) announced on Thursday (Oct. 21) that it will consider loosening border restrictions when the full vaccination coverage rate exceeds 30%, which it projects will occur by the end of October.

As the percentage of partially and fully vaccinated residents in Taiwan continues to rise, many are wondering when Taiwan will loosen its border controls for foreign workers and travelers. On Thursday, the MOHW announced the percentage of people who have completed their COVID vaccine regimen must surpass 30% before it will consider loosening border restrictions, but factors such as the pandemic situation in other countries will need to be considered.

Health and Welfare Deputy Minister Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said that although the situation with the local outbreak in Taiwan has stabilized, border policy must take into account the risk of exposure to the pandemic overseas and the degree to which local residents have been fully vaccinated. Shih emphasized the government is seeking to increase the vaccination coverage rate as soon as possible.

He said the health ministry is aiming for the first-dose vaccination rate to reach 70% and the full vaccination rate to reach 30% by the end of October. According to the MOHW, as of Tuesday (Oct. 19), 23.38% of the population has received both doses of a COVID vaccine.

Shih said that for border controls to be lowered, the full vaccination rate must exceed 30%, but as for the exact percentage required to open the borders, the ministry is still researching the relationship with the infection rate, public health measures, and vaccination coverage in other countries.