TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head on Monday (Oct. 25) said that the country's borders can be gradually reopened in a "layered and tiered manner" when the first-dose vaccination rate reaches 70% and the full vaccination rate stands at 60%.
During a meeting of the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee in the Legislative Yuan on Monday, Kuomintang Legislator Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) said as the vaccine coverage rate has increased in other countries around the world, they have started to reopen their borders. Yeh then asked Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) under what vaccination rate would the center consider opening up Taiwan's borders.
Chen responded by saying that the threshold the center is considering is constantly changing, but the current level being looked at is 70% of the population having received at least one dose and 60% of the residents having been fully vaccinated. Once these vaccination rates are reached, Chen said the country can gradually open the borders in a "layered and tiered manner," but until the vaccine coverage rate reaches the "76" target, it is too soon to talk about opening Taiwan's borders.
Yeh then asked whether the mandatory two-week quarantine for people returning from Taiwan can be shortened, even if border restrictions have not yet been eased. Chen responded by saying that the CECC is discussing the matter every day and based on an analysis of the 110,000 people who entered the country between August and October, a total of 176 were diagnosed as soon as they arrived, representing an infection rate of 0.15%.
Of these cases, 136 were breakthrough infections. Chen warned that although most of these cases were "mildly ill." Once the quarantine measures are loosened, there is no guarantee the people in the local population they then infect will also only be "mildly ill."
According to the latest CECC statistics released on Monday, Taiwan's first-dose vaccination rate has climbed to 67.71%, while the two-dose vaccination level has reached 27.39%.