CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan cuts COVID isolation to 5 days, lifts workplace vaccine mandates
Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) Taiwan's COVID-19 isolation period was reduced from seven to five days and a three-shot vaccine mandate for workers in several high-risk fields was lifted after new policies took effect on Monday, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
Under the new isolation policy, known as "5+n," the quarantine for those with COVID-19 has been shortened to five days, after which people will be able to resume their normal activities with a negative test result.
People who continue to test positive after five days will not be required to quarantine, but should follow self-initiated epidemic prevention protocols until they test negative, or for a maximum of seven days, according to the CECC.
Also on Monday, the CECC canceled a regulation requiring workers in 24 high-risk fields to receive at least three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The requirement originally applied to teachers, workers in correctional facilities, and funeral homes, and people in categories 1, 2, 3, and 7 on the government's COVID-19 vaccine priority list, which includes health and epidemic prevention workers, airport staff, and soldiers.
The new policies come amid a gradual easing of Taiwan's COVID-19 policies, as the health threat posed by the virus continues to wane.
According to CECC data, Taiwan recorded around 146,000 COVID-19 infections in the week of Nov. 6-12, a drop of 25.7 percent from the 197,000 cases reported a week earlier.
CECC officials have said recently that they expect to lift Taiwan's outdoor mask mandate later this month, and have also begun early planning on a "second stage" easing of the mask policy.
In the latter stage, health authorities will specifically list places where masks need to be worn, such as in hospitals or on public transportation, with no mask mandate as the default in all other settings, the officials have said.
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