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Taiwan to cut Covid-related quarantine for arrivals to 3 days

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People, wearing face masks to curb the spread of coronavirus, wait at a food stall in Taipei, Taiwan on April 19, 2022.

Annabelle Chih | Reuters

Taiwan said on Saturday it would cut mandatory quarantine for all arrivals to three days from seven, its latest relaxation of the rules to try to live with Covid-19 and resume normal life even as it has been dealing with a surge of infections.

Taiwan has kept its quarantine rules in place as large parts of the rest of Asia have relaxed or lifted them completely, though in May it cut the number of days spent in isolation for arrivals to seven from 10 previously.

Taiwan has reported more than 2.7 million domestic cases since the beginning of the year, driven by the more infectious Omicron variant. But with more than 99% of those exhibiting no or mild symptoms, the government has relaxed rather than tightened restrictions in what it calls the “new Taiwan model.”

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said the new, reduced quarantine rule would start from Wednesday.

After leaving quarantine, people will have to continue to monitor their health for a further four days and avoid going out if possible, it added.

The move was made “considering the international and domestic epidemic situation and epidemic prevention and medical capacity, and to promote economic and social activities and necessary international exchanges,” the center said.

All arrivals will still have to have pre-departure negative PCR tests. The government says the current domestic Covid-19 wave is waning, but has yet to fully re-open its borders.

Taiwanese citizens and foreign residents have never been prohibited from leaving and then re-entering, though have had to quarantine either at home or in hotels.

Before the pandemic, Taiwan was a popular tourist destination for mainly Asian visitors, with Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia the most important markets.

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