CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan further loosens quarantine rules for Lunar New Year
Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) further loosened quarantine rules on Thursday for fully vaccinated travelers coming to Taiwan for next year's Lunar New Year holiday.
At a daily press briefing, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced the CECC's "7+7" policy for travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for at least two weeks before their arrival in Taiwan.
Under the policy, which will be in place from Dec. 14, 2021 to Feb. 14, 2022, travelers will spend the first seven days of quarantine in a government facility or designated hotel, and then spend the remaining seven days of quarantine at home, said Chen, who heads the CECC.
Accepted vaccines will be those approved either by the World Health Organization or Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration, according to the CECC.
Travelers undergoing this new policy must undergo three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests, including one upon arrival, another before they return home to continue their quarantine, and one more at the end of their 14-day quarantine. In addition, they are also required to conduct one rapid test when quarantining at home, Chen said.
During the home quarantine period, they can only stay with family members or relatives who have also been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, and they must ensure that they do not share rooms with others, he said.
At the same time, the family members or relatives who share a residence with people undergoing home quarantine should also observe enhanced self-health management protocols, he added.
This means that they will be prohibited from visiting crowded places such as markets, restaurants and tourist attractions. They are also required to undergo two rapid tests during that period.
Currently, all arrivals in Taiwan have to quarantine for 14 days at either a government facility or a designated hotel to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
In addition to the "7+7" policy, travelers who plan to return home between Dec. 14, 2021 and Feb. 14, 2022 can also opt for a "10+4" policy introduced by the CECC in early November, under which they will quarantine at a designated hotel for the first 10 days and spend the remaining four days at home.
The "10+4" policy does not require travelers to be fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, but that they spend the last four days of quarantine in a residence where other residents have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks.
Meanwhile, travelers who plan to accept the "7+7" policy will be able to book a room at a government-run quarantine facility starting Nov. 16, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at the press briefing.
The rate for each room, which can only accommodate one person at a time, is NT$1,500 (US$53.57) per night, Chuang said, adding that the CECC is planning to open up to 21,600 rooms during the Dec. 14-Feb. 14 period.
However, those who wish to quarantine at a government facility under the "7+7" policy will be unable to choose a specific facility, Chuang said. They can only indicate that they prefer to stay in a facility located in the northern, central or southern region of Taiwan, he added.
They can still choose to undergo the first seven-day quarantine at a government designated quarantine hotel, according to the CECC.
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