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Taiwan likely to drop COVID quarantine after Lunar New Year

First-dose vaccine coverage to reach 70% Thursday

Taiwan's first-dose vaccination level is expected to reach 70% Thursday. 

Taiwan's first-dose vaccination level is expected to reach 70% Thursday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Taiwan’s COVID-19 one-shot vaccine coverage is about to reach 70%, an end to the quarantine requirement for arriving travelers may come after the Lunar New Year, officials said Wednesday (Oct. 27).

With 69.49% of the population, or 16.28 million people, having received their first shot according to Wednesday’s data, the 70% level was likely to be reached the following day, CNA reported. A total of 6.93 million people, or 29.6%, have been fully vaccinated.

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that if current trends continue, it would be possible to issue a “green pass” to travelers after the next Lunar New Year holiday, which falls from Jan. 29 to Feb. 6, 2022. The measure would allow travelers arriving in Taiwan to forego the current 14-day quarantine.

Several countries in the region, including Thailand and Vietnam, have announced formulas to allow tourists to return, though they are restricted to arrivals from a limited list of countries who fully vaccinated.

Nevertheless, Chen said that opinions still diverged on which level of vaccination coverage was enough to allow international travel to resume without quarantine. Experts would have to discuss the risks of liberalization, but the abolition of the quarantine requirement after the holiday looked more and more possible, the CECC chief said.