The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) might shorten the quarantine period for inbound travelers to seven days after observing the COVID-19 situation for about a month, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday.
Chen, speaking at the Taipei Hotel Association’s annual banquet, said that while people in the tourism industry have suggested a “3-5-7” plan — reopening the border to business travelers this month, reopening to foreign tourists in May and allowing Taiwanese to travel abroad in July — the virus situation is uncontrollable, so the dates are difficult to set in advance.
However, the minister said there is a “7-5-3” quarantine plan that includes “priority travel bubbles” that is being mapped out.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
The plan is to gradually reduce the mandatory quarantine period for inbound travelers from 10 days to seven days, then five days, then three days, before a full reopening without quarantine, said Chen, who heads the center.
The impact of reducing the quarantine period from 14 to 10 days, which took effect on Monday last week, would be monitored for a month and if the COVID-19 situation remains stable, the quarantine period could be further reduced to seven days, Chen said.
The risk of undetected COVID-19 cases among travelers quarantined for 10 days is about 1 percent, but the risk increases to 3.5 percent if they quarantine for seven days, he said, adding that preparations must therefore be made in advance.
The preparations would include teaching businesses in the tourism industry how to quickly handle the situation if an employee or customer tests positive for COVID-19 to stop the virus from spreading.
Reducing the quarantine period to fewer than seven days might be an incentive for more overseas Taiwanese, students and business travelers to visit Taiwan, but it would need to be reduced to fewer than five days to attract foreign tourists, which would be challenging as an expected 20 percent of cases could remain undetected after five days, he said.
Asked if allowing foreign tourists to visit Taiwan could be possible in May, Chen said it is most unlikely that they would be able to arrive and travel freely by May, but the center would also consider “priority travel bubbles” being suggested by the tourism industry, as well as assessing the global COVID-19 situation and local preparations, including vaccination coverage.
Taiwan is likely to face another wave of COVID-19 infections next month or in September, but it is unlikely to see a rapid surge in cases, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 27,684 new cases yesterday — down 12 percent from a week earlier — and 89 deaths. Yesterday was the first day that the government allowed citizens, resident certificate holders and transit passengers to board flights to Taiwan without having to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result. Some were concerned that the new policy could lead to a domestic outbreak of BA.4
REGULATIONS EASED: People no longer need to wear a mask when riding a bicycle, motorcycle or scooter, or when working in an open outdoor area Foreign nationals visiting Taiwan for six purposes are to be allowed entry starting on Monday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, adding that people would no longer be required to wear a mask when riding a bike or a scooter, or when working in an open outdoor space, effective immediately. Bureau of Consular Affairs Deputy Director Chou Chung-hsing (周中興) said the six purposes are volunteer work, missionary work, religious studies, internship, international exchange and foreigners on a working holiday. Foreign nationals, not including residents of Hong Kong or Macau, who are planning to visit Taiwan for these six
SELLING TAIWAN: The bureau plans to promote tours to Taiwan by inviting overseas media outlets and Internet celebrities to visit the nation, an official said The Tourism Bureau is to soon propose lifting a ban on inbound and outbound tours as the nation seeks to resume normal life amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. Wang made the remarks after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday told the Democratic Progressive Party National Congress that her administration is seeking to revitalize the economy by carefully assessing the best time to reopen borders to international travelers. Newly appointed head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) Victor Wang (王必勝) yesterday also said that the center’s main goals would include easing disease prevention
RE-EXAMINATION: The former US secretary of defense said that the ‘one China’ policy would not be sufficient and sturdy enough to avoid conflicts in the Taiwan Strait The US should move from strategic ambiguity to strategic clarity on cross-strait affairs and re-examine its “one China” policy, former US secretary of defense Mark Esper told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday, adding that Taiwan must demonstrate its seriousness in defending itself by increasing its defense spending. “It is my personal view that the ‘one China’ policy has outlived its usefulness and that it is time to move away from strategic ambiguity. I think it is important that we begin that national discussion back in the US, but it will help that discussion and help us educate the American people if


Shop Sephari