TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) indicated on Monday (March 8) that it is possible the mandatory quarantine for overseas arrivals will be shortened to seven days by next month.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare on Monday shortened the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 for both arrivals and people who have come in contact with COVID cases. A seven-day self-health monitoring period is still required following quarantine.
During a press conference that day, a member of the media asked CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) if the quarantine would be further reduced to seven days after a month of observation. Chen responded that this is possible "if the outbreak is stable and can be kept under control."
Chen said that as long as the number of local cases remains stable, quarantines can be shortened further. However, he cautioned that the shorter the quarantine, "the higher the risk."
He stressed that everyone must cooperate with the quarantine regulations to ensure public safety. The center will also take into consideration the results of the rapid antigen tests taken by those undergoing quarantine over the coming weeks, he added.
The CECC head later elaborated that there are four major factors determining when border restrictions can be loosened again.
First, is whether the central and local governments are ready. Second is the rate of COVID detection among arrivals undergoing self-health monitoring, the percentage of positive rapid antigen tests, and the extent to which the public adheres to regulations. Third is the vaccination rate among the elderly and fourth is the pandemic situation overseas.
Chen said that all four factors need continuous monitoring. He said he is "slightly optimistic" that the borders will be completely opened after June.