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Taiwan eyeing '3+4' quarantine for business travelers

Taiwan looking to open borders to business travelers 1st before later considering tourists

(Freepik photo)

(Freepik photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (June 8) indicated that it is eyeing a "3+4" quarantine scheme for business travelers in the near future.

During a press conference that afternoon, media cited reports that the Tourism Bureau has formulated guidelines for inbound passengers, including proof of a negative PCR test received two days prior to boarding a flight, a three-dose vaccination requirement, and that visitors arrive and depart in tour groups. The scheme will reportedly be presented to the CECC for approval soon and some experts suggest that people who have had three vaccine doses can enter under a "0+7" plan with no quarantine and seven days of self-health management.

Chen responded by saying that the time is not yet ripe for a "0+7" formula and that a "3+4" configuration of three days of quarantine and four days of self-health monitoring is more likely to happen. He said that border controls will first be relaxed for business travelers and, at a later point, consideration will be made for visits for other purposes, such as sightseeing.

Regarding the "0+7" option, Chen said, "Of course, some people really are hoping for this, but some other people are really not hoping for this." Therefore, as a compromise, Chen said the center is planning on gradually shortening the number of days of quarantine. "At present, the possibility of (implementing) "3+4" is the highest," said Chen.

As for easing border restrictions for other purposes such as tourism, Chen pointed out that, based on the experience of other countries, borders can only be reopened when the overall domestic outbreak declines from its peak and there is no longer a potentially overwhelming demand for the country's medical resources. The CECC head said that some countries start preparations for opening up when case numbers have dropped to one-third of peak levels, while other countries begin to prepare when infections have dipped to half of the peak levels.

Chen said that Taiwan will make the decision based on the overall number of patient wards available and make a decision based on the availability of medical resources.

Another reporter mentioned that some experts have asserted that if the outbreak declines for the next two consecutive weeks, the epidemic can be expected to end in July. CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) responded by saying, "I do not know what the end of the epidemic means."

Chuang said that experience in various countries shows that it is difficult to end the epidemic, even after cases have peaked. At present, Chuang said that the goal of the center's epidemic prevention policy is not to reach zero cases, but rather "disaster mitigation."