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Taiwan approves '3+4' plan for COVID contact home isolation

Starting on April 26, COVID case contacts can reduce home isolation to 3 days

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(freepik photo)

(freepik photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Local officials on Monday (April 25) gave the green light to a new plan that will enable contacts of COVID cases to leave home isolation on the third day if they test negative for the virus, and it will take effect on Tuesday (April 26).

During a press conference that evening, CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that officials from the country's 22 special municipalities and counties had agreed at a meeting held that afternoon to adopt the new shortened home isolation plan. Under the scheme, dubbed "3+4," COVID case contacts can undergo a reduced home isolation period of only three days.

On the third day, the contacts must take a rapid antigen test, and if the result is negative they will be allowed to end their home isolation. However, they must then observe four days of self-health monitoring protocols, such as avoiding eating in restaurants or attending large events and wearing a mask at all times in public.

In the morning, local leaders held a meeting with health personnel and made their own proposals. During the afternoon meeting, most of the participants agreed to shorten the home isolation period. Although some expressed concerns that the sudden shortening of the quarantine would put a great deal of pressure on society, they agreed with the general direction of the "3+4" plan.

Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) at noon on Monday revealed the details of the new program on his Facebook page:

  1. For the first three days, contacts of COVID cases must stay at home under the principle of one person per room and cannot venture out.
  2. After completing a list of contacts, they can arrange for a rapid antigen test or PCR test.
  3. They must take a rapid antigen test on the first day of symptoms (if there are any) and on the last day of isolation.
  4. If the rapid antigen test result on the third day of isolation is negative, they can begin four days of self-health monitoring.

Rules for four days of self-health monitoring:

  1. Carry out a rapid screening test every day. Those who test negative can go out to work or buy daily necessities.
  2. Always wear a mask when going out.
  3. The following behaviors are prohibited: dining in restaurants, attending banquets, taking part in large gatherings, and coming in contact with unfamiliar persons.

Chen announced that the new shortened home isolation program will go into effect on Tuesday. People who are currently already in home isolation can leave quarantine under the new rules on Wednesday (April 27).