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Taiwan to end quarantine on Oct. 13

Taiwan to launch '0+7' plan, raise weekly quota to 150,000, fully open borders, end tour bans on Oct. 13

2015 Fulong International Sand Sculpting Art Festival. (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)

2015 Fulong International Sand Sculpting Art Festival. (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Thursday (Sept. 22) announced that the "0 + 7" system will be implemented on Oct. 13 and at the same time, Taiwan will expand visa-free entry to more countries and the ban on tourists groups will be lifted.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare on Thursday presented a report at the Cabinet titled "The border will be lifted steadily and will move towards a normal life." Su pointed out that Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Victor Wang (王必勝) issued a proposal to open the border in stages which had the backing of CECC specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳).

Su said the first phase, which starts on Sept. 29, will include raising the weekly inbound passenger quota to 60,000. On that date, arriving passengers undergoing the "3 + 4" quarantine formula will be able to spend the entire seven-day period in a residence with others as long as they can follow the "one person per room" principle.

Also, on Sept. 29, the on-arrival saliva test will be discontinued, and passengers will instead be handed four rapid antigen test kits. Furthermore, visa-free entry will be restored to all reciprocating countries.

Su stated that after these policies are implemented, the situation with the local outbreak will be observed for a week. If conditions are deemed suitable as expected, the "0 + 7" scheme will be launched two days after the announcement of the policy is made, which he estimated would be Oct. 13.

According to Su, this second phase that starts on Oct. 13 will see the weekly arriving passenger quota raised to 150,000, the "0 +7" plan, the opening of borders to travelers from countries not granted visa-free treatment, and the end of the tour group ban.

Arriving passengers can currently take a quarantine taxi; be picked up by their friends, relatives, institution, or group; or drive their own vehicle to their place of quarantine. This will remain unchanged during September, but effective Oct. 13, inbound passengers who are asymptomatic can take all forms of public transportation.