CORONAVIRUS/Health of public priority in border opening plan: MOFA

06/02/2020 09:33 PM
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Temperature screening by health officials at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport / CNA file photo
Temperature screening by health officials at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport / CNA file photo

Taipei, June 2 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) gave its assurance Tuesday that the country's health will remain a priority amid the COVID-19 pandemic when the government discusses mutual relaxation of border restrictions with other countries.

"The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) will continue to assess the domestic and global outbreak situation comprehensively and professionally," MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said during a regular press briefing.

"The results of these assessments will then be used as a basis for MOFA to discuss the timing of opening up its borders to those from other countries," Ou said.

Both health security and travel rights will be taken into consideration by the government when deciding on the relaxation of any such border restrictions, she stressed.

Ou made the statement in response to media reports that Japan and Greece are to open their borders to several countries, none of which reportedly include Taiwan.

Currently, Taiwan has strict border restrictions, banning the entry of most foreign nationals, except for those with residence permits and some categories of business people.

Ou clarified that Tokyo has not yet come to a final decision on which countries it will open its borders to. In the case of Greece, the European country will only open its borders to countries with which it has direct flights, which Taiwan does not.

Nevertheless, MOFA will seek the inclusion of Taiwan by Japan and Greece in their list of countries to which they will open their borders, she said.

(By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim)

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