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Taiwan to start easing border restrictions for business travelers

Measures expected to be announced soon after talks with Ministry of Economic Affairs

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File photo of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. 

File photo of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s top health official said Saturday (May 28) that talks were underway with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to loosen COVID-19 border restrictions for business travelers, with an announcement expected soon.

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Friday (May 27) that as the domestic infection rate of 6% was already comparable to imported cases, Taiwan could follow the example of many other countries and ease border restrictions in June.

Speaking at the daily CECC news conference Saturday, Chen said that talks had already started with the MOEA and that new measures for business travelers hoping to come to Taiwan would be announced soon, the Liberty Times reported.

Many economic activities have suffered due to the border restrictions, including the placing of orders for goods, services, and investments, Chen said, explaining why the CECC was communicating with the MOEA first. According to a CNA report, the MOEA was considering a shortening of the "7+7" formula, where business people have to spend seven days in quarantine and conduct 7 days of self-health monitoring after their arrival in Taiwan.

As for tourists and other travelers, Taiwan’s ability to provide the required care for COVID cases would be the key, he said. At present, there are still different alert levels for different countries, so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and other government departments would have to come up with a unified approach as a basis for the second phase of border openings, according to Chen.