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Taiwan mulling 7-day quarantine by April

Chen says 'it's possible' quarantine could be shortened to 7 days by April

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — If Taiwan's planned shortened quarantine of 10 days goes well in March, an even shorter quarantine of seven days is possible in April, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) has said.

Given the shortened incubation period for Omicron, the CECC on Monday (Feb. 14) said that the country's quarantine policy is moving towards "shortening the number of home quarantine days to 10 days, and implementing self-health management for seven days after the quarantine period expires." Chen emphasized that the center is hoping that the shortened quarantines can "begin before mid-March."

During a press conference on Wednesday (Feb. 16), Chen said that after the quarantine is shortened to 10 days, an assessment will be made on its effectiveness before moving forward. "When the quarantine is shortened to 10 days, there will be a few tests in between. You can see when most cases will be detected and shorten (quarantine days) in that direction."

Chen then revealed that the next phase includes a "consideration" of lowering the quarantine further to seven days. He said that key factors the CECC will be looking at include whether the majority of cases are detected within seven days and whether the Ct value after one week is high after that period.

He estimated that a decision can be made after one month of implementation of the 10-day quarantine, indicating that an adjustment to a seven-day quarantine is possible by April. At a press briefing on Thursday (Feb. 17), when asked to verify that the CECC is looking to lower the quarantine period to seven days by April, Chen responded by saying "of course it's possible."