CORONAVIRUS/CECC to ease two policies before lifting quarantine for arrivals

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday detailed two current border regulations that it plans to ease before lifting the quarantine requirement for arriving travelers.

At a press briefing, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (???) was asked if Taiwan plans to reciprocate following a new South Korean policy, which allows quarantine-free entry to travelers from Taiwan, Japan and Macau, as long as they hold a K-ETA travel authorization and take a pre-flight PCR test.

In response, Chuang said that because South Korea is averaging around 90,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, it is unlikely Taiwan will reciprocate at this time.

On the broader issue of Taiwan's border regulations, he said, there is still a lot of "preliminary work" that has to be done before the current "3+4" policy -- three days of quarantine followed by four days of "self-initiated epidemic prevention" -- can be changed to a "0+7" plan.

Specifically, the CECC would first have to cancel the requirement that foreign nationals take a PCR test within 48 hours of their flight to Taiwan, Chuang said.

Meanwhile, the one person per residence rule for the quarantine and self-initiated epidemic prevention protocol would also have to be amended to one person per room, he added.

Only after both of these changes have taken place will the CECC "gradually" move toward implementing a "0+7" policy, Chuang said, adding that the timing also depends on other factors, such as an expected rise in BA.5 variant cases in August and the vaccination rate among young children.

Last month, Chuang said the center would consider easing border regulations further when at least 50 percent of young children -- likely meaning those aged 6 months to 5 years -- had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccinations for that age group have been available since July 21, but as of Monday, only 12.1 percent had received a shot, CECC statistics show.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel