CORONAVIRUS/Medical workers to be included in quarantine-free arrivals policy: CECC

Medical personnel will also be included in Taiwan’s quarantine-free protocol for arriving travelers when it takes effect, most likely on Oct. 13, and will be allowed to return directly to work with a negative rapid test result, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed Tuesday.

Under plans announced last week, Taiwan will replace its current “3+4” arrivals protocol — three days of quarantine, followed by four days of “self-initiated epidemic prevention” — with a quarantine-free protocol dubbed “0+7,” which is expected to take effect on Oct. 13.

At a press briefing Tuesday, CECC official Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) confirmed that medical professionals will also be included in the 0+7 plan, in response to what he said were several “queries” the CECC had received on the issue.

He noted that while Taiwan briefly banned medical workers from leaving the country at the start of the pandemic, the order expired on July 1, 2020, though many had avoided traveling abroad due to quarantine requirements.

Under the 0+7 plan, medical personnel, like other travelers, will be allowed to work in the seven days after their return if they test negative on a rapid test at the airport when they arrive and then every two days afterwards within that one-week span, Lo said, adding that hospitals may ask their employees to be tested daily.

Meanwhile, on the issue of Taiwan’s mask mandate, Lo said no major changes were expected in the next few weeks, as COVID-19 infections remain high and the impact of lifting the mandatory quarantine will need to be assessed.

As for reports that the rules could be eased in November, possibly by specifying settings in which masks need to be worn, rather than requiring them as the default, Lo said that currently, no plans had been finalized.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel