On June 17, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced the conditions under which short-term business travelers can apply for reduced amount of time of home quarantine. As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has continued to subside in Taiwan, the CECC had several consultation meetings with relevant government agencies in a bid to reopen borders for international business and trade activity. The CECC announced that business travelers who wish to make short visits to Taiwan can apply for shortened home quarantine periods starting from June 22 if such travelers meet all the conditions listed below:
1. Those who are allowed entry according to the announcements of the CECC
2. Those whose duration of stay doesn’t exceed three months
3. Business travelers who enter the country for business activities, such as goods inspection, after-sale services, technical assistance and training, and contract signing
4. Those who arrive from low- and medium-risk countries/regions announced by the CECC and have no history of travel to other countries in the last 14 days before boarding the flight to Taiwan.
The CECC stated that business travelers who meet the conditions listed above should have relevant certificates and documents prepared for the business visit by local companies, travel itinerary, and disease prevention plans, while negative COVID-19 test certificates issued for travelers’ specimens tested within three days prior to their flight to Taiwan should also be prepared for inspection. Other travelers who don’t meet these conditions may submit their requests which would be processed as special cases if they have to do so for special business requirements or other necessary activities. Taiwan would discuss and reduce quarantine procedures with certain countries or regions under the principles of reciprocity, mutual authentication and epidemic prevention.
The CECC explained that applicants who arrive from low-risk countries/regions may contact the local health authority of the quarantine hotel at which they stay to take out-of-pocket COVID-19 testing after undergoing quarantine for five days; those who arrive from medium-risk countries/regions may undergo COVID-19 testing at their own expense on the seventh day after entry. After obtaining negative COVID-19 test certificates, applicants may contact the local health authority to end quarantine and practice self-health management until the 21st day after entry instead of quarantine. During the self-health management period, the travelers should still monitor their temperature every day and reply to text messages requesting an update on their health status. The travelers should also engage in restricted activities as shown in the itinerary and provide their names for the activities. Furthermore, they should record their daily activities and persons who come into contact with them, avoid public places and wear a mask at all times when going out.
The CECC stated that the abovementioned rules would be applicable to only short-term business travelers. Those who plan to stay in the country for more than three months should still observe the 14-day home quarantine after entry, and the said rules don’t apply. In addition, foreign nationals, mainland Chinese and Hong Kong and Macao residents who do not have documents for residency may not apply for disease prevention compensation from June 17.
Note: The low-risk and medium-risk countries/regions are listed below. The list will be adjusted based on the epidemic situations and trends, surveillance and testing capacities and epidemic information transparency in these countries and regions, as well as the epidemic situations in their neighboring regions and countries. The list will be reviewed every two weeks.
Note: 1. Low-risk countries/regions: New Zealand, Australia, Macao, Palau, Fiji, Brunei, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mongolia, Bhutan.
2. Medium-risk countries/regions: South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore.