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Taiwan to decide in 10 days on shortened quarantine for overseas arrivals

Chen says Taiwan will relax quarantine rules for foreign arrivals as long as no new variants are found in next 10 days

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Passengers arriving from overseas at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. 

Passengers arriving from overseas at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (April 27) stated that it will consider shortening the quarantine for arriving passengers and crew members if no new COVID variants surface over the coming 10 days.

During a press conference that afternoon, CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that quarantine measures for flight crews have been highly successful with the infection rate among all crew members dropping to seven out of 10,000, while the infection rate for short-haul flights was only three out of 100,000. Chen said that based on these low infection numbers, Taiwan can theoretically loosen its quarantine regulations.

However, Chen emphasized concerns that there are new COVID variants circulating overseas. Chen said that amid the rapid surge in domestic COVID cases, the center will monitor the situation with the global pandemic for 10 more days.

If, after 10 days, no new variants are detected abroad, Chen said quarantine rules for arriving passengers and aircrews will be further loosened. Chen stressed that the CECC will seek to minimize the inconvenience for travelers and crews while continuing to ensure the safety of Taiwan's borders.

The quarantine for crews of long-haul flights will be shorted to a "3+4" system starting on May 1. Under this scheme, crews who have received three COVID vaccine doses at least two weeks prior can quarantine for three days in an epidemic prevention hotel, company dormitory, or their home if they follow the principle of one person per room. They then enter four days of self-health monitoring and undergo rapid antigen or PCR tests each day.

Also starting May 1, short-haul crew members who have received their third vaccine dose at least two weeks prior can directly commence self-health monitoring. They must take a rapid antigen test or PCR test on each of the five days of self-health monitoring.

Regular passengers arriving from abroad must still enter quarantine for 10 days, followed by seven days of self-health monitoring.