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Flight crews may need to take longer home quarantine, tests: CECC

ROC Central News Agency

12/26/2020 09:10 PM

Taipei, Dec. 26 (CNA) Taiwan is expected to impose more stringent regulations for flight crews, which could include an extension of home quarantine from no more than five days currently to seven days, as well as having to provide a negative PCR test, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday.

CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said the current five-day and three-day home quarantine for flight attendants and pilots, respectively, when they enter Taiwan, will likely be extended to an across-the-board seven days.

Moreover, flight crew members must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to complete their quarantine, he said.

He said those who need to cut short their 7-day home quarantine in order to work their next shift will be banned from entering local communities before they fly, he said, although he stressed that the details remain to be decided.

A final plan is expected on Dec. 30.

Introduction of the new regulations came after a cluster infection was reported earlier this week that was linked to a commercial airline pilot.

An EVA Airways pilot from New Zealand, who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, broke the company's COVID-19 control protocols by refusing to wear a mask while on duty, among other infractions. According to the CECC, the pilot infected not only two of his colleagues, but also a woman in Taipei, who became Taiwan's first domestic case in 253 days. Currently, flight crews are not subject to the standard 14-day quarantine when they enter Taiwan, but pilots are required to quarantine for three days, and flight attendants for five days.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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