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Homeland Security

Taiwan not considering banning flights from U.K.: CECC

ROC Central News Agency

12/21/2020 09:44 PM

Taipei, Dec. 21 (CNA) Taiwan is not considering banning flights from the United Kingdom as a preventative measure against a new coronavirus variant detected there, because the measures already in place are sufficient in preventing the spread of COVID-19, a top health official said Monday.

Currently, Taiwan requires travelers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result issued within three days of their flight and all travelers to the country, with few exceptions, have to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival.

These measures, as well as the requirement to wear face masks at eight types of public venues, are sufficient to guard against the spread of COVID-19 in Taiwan, said Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥).

Chuang was asked about the possibility of a U.K. flight ban because of a new variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 that has been detected there.

The variant, which has been dubbed VUI-202012/01, is driving a surge in COVID-19 cases in southern England and may be up to 70 percent more transmissible than existing strains, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday.

Several European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy and Belgium, as well as Canada, have since banned flights from the U.K.

According to Chuang, the new variant has not yet been detected in Taiwan.

The CECC will continue to monitor new information about the variant, as not much is known about it yet globally, he said.

Although a Taiwanese couple who live in the U.K. have shared on social media that they have been infected by the new coronavirus variant, Chuang said it is still unclear whether they have indeed been infected by the new variant.

The U.K. reported 35,928 new COVID-19 cases on Dec. 20, the largest daily number recorded since the start of the pandemic. More than 2 million people have tested positive in the country to date, and over 76,000 have died from the disease.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Chiang Yi-ching)

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