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Arrivals required to take designated vehicles to quarantine facilities

ROC Central News Agency

08/24/2021 09:29 PM

Taipei, Aug. 24 (CNA) To prevent the potential spread of imported coronavirus, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Tuesday that it will soon require all travelers arriving in Taiwan from abroad to take designated vehicles to quarantine facilities.

Beginning Aug. 27, all arriving travelers will be prohibited from driving to quarantine facilities in their own vehicles or via public transportation, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced at a press conference.

Instead, all arriving travelers will be required to take designated vehicles at the airport, including "epidemic prevention" taxis and buses, to minimize contact with the general public, Chen said.

This measure is designed to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in Taiwan, especially the Delta variant, as the global COVID-19 situation continues to worsen, he said.

According to Taiwan's current COVID-19 prevention protocols, all travelers arriving from abroad must undergo compulsory quarantine at a designated quarantine facility for 14 days.

Prior to the new restriction going into force, arriving travelers from low-risk countries are permitted to drive themselves to quarantine facilities.

In addition, as the COVID-19 situation in Taiwan improves, the CECC has relaxed some restrictions on hospital visits.

Beginning Tuesday, visits to patients on psychiatric, pediatric, respiratory, and palliative care wards, as well as those in intensive care units, are allowed during designated time slots, said Chen.

Each patient is limited to two visitors in the time slot who are required to present a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of the visit, he added.

Considering the higher number of COVID-19 cases in Taipei and New Taipei, patients in hospitals there will undergo an antigen test on the seventh and 14th day of their admission, with the cost covered by the government, Chen said.

The patient's caregiver, of which only one is allowed under normal circumstances, will undergo the same test every seven days, he added.

However, caretakers or visitors can be exempted from COVID-19 tests if they have already received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Chen.

The exemption also applies to hospital visitors and caretakers who have contracted COVID-19 but fully recovered, been released from quarantine and first exhibited COVID-19 symptoms no more than three months earlier, Chen said.

Despite the rule change, the minister advised the public to refrain from unnecessary hospital visits, and where possible communicate with patients virtually.

In addition, he said hospital visitors and caregivers should stay in the room of the patient they are visiting or taking care of as much as possible to minimize the risk of cross infection.

(By Chiang Hui-chung, Chen Chieh-ling, Chang Ming-hsuan and Emerson Lim)



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