TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Taiwan prepares to launch its shortened "3+4" quarantine scheme on Wednesday (June 15), the government is reportedly considering ending quarantine with a "0+7" formula by September.
On Saturday (June 11), Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that Taiwan will be shortening its mandatory quarantine for arriving passengers from the current "7+7" plan to a "3+4" formula starting on Wednesday (June 15). However, one of the caveats listed by Chen was that starting on that date, the number of passengers allowed to enter the country per week will be limited to 25,000.
On Monday (June 13), UDN cited a government official familiar with the matter as saying many of Taiwan's diplomatic personnel stationed overseas have complained that Taiwan's quarantine policy is too strict. According to the source, if the three-day quarantine goes smoothly, the CECC is expected to evaluate whether the quarantine formula can be changed to "0+7" after two infection cycles of 14 days each, roughly one month.
Under this program, inbound passengers would be exempted from quarantine and instead immediately begin seven days of self-health monitoring. The official estimated that the CECC will make an announcement about the end of quarantine in August and that the policy would go into effect in September.
The source stated that over the past two weeks, the local outbreak has hit a plateau, causing the CECC to feel great pressure to announce the relaxation of the quarantine rules. In addition, local tour agencies and overseas embassies have been complaining about the difficulties people have coming in and out of the country.
Chen reportedly kept the timing of the announcement on the three-day quarantine a secret, with only high-level officials and a small number of core aides knowing about the plan before it was made public. This is a departure from the past when such new policy announcements would have been shown as "confidential" information to legislators in advance.
At a press conference on Monday (June 13), CECC Deputy Head Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) was asked by the media whether the quarantine plan will be changed to "0+7" in the near future. Chen responded by saying that "3+4" is just about to begin and that the center will conduct a comprehensive assessment of border control, community monitoring, and the pandemic, but claimed, "there is no so-called timetable."