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5/8 Quarantine, Close Contact, PCR testing Updates

Quarantine hotels unnecessary for cases or close contacts showing no symptoms

From now on, Taipei City will no longer arrange quarantine hotels for confirmed cases who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, or non-infected relatives and friends who live with confirmed cases, in order to maintain the capacity of our hospitals and quarantine hotels. 

 

‘Close Contact’ Redefined as of May 8

Home isolation requirement for close contacts will only apply to live-in relatives or friends and to roommates at school dormitories, but no longer to colleagues at work or classmates, the CECC announced.

 

Test positive on rapid tests & make phone reservations before getting PCR testings

According to the Health Minister Chen, people who have tested positive on rapid antigen kits and have suspected COVID symptoms can go to the clinics to undergo PCR testing.

In order to facilitate public access to these clinics, the CECC has created an online map titled the "Map of nationally designated community testing institutions for COVID-19." Once they have located a nearby clinic on the map, they are advised to call the facility first to set up an appointment for a PCR test.

 

Citizens of Taipei can access the Drive-thru at Beitou-Shilin Tech Park

Individuals who tested positive on home self-test kits can bring the specimen and test strip to the COVID-positive Drive-thru Clinic at Beitou-Shilin Technology Park by either driving, riding a motorcycle, or walking to receive further PCR screening

5/3 Taiwan to shorten quarantine for arriving travelers from 10 to 7 days

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) The quarantine requirement for arriving travelers will be reduced from 10 days to seven, starting May 9, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday, as Taiwan opts to live with COVID-19.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said the new measure is being introduced based on the shorter incubation period of the Omicron variant, and the need for Taiwan to maintain normal economic activity and preserve its critical medical capacity.

As a result, arriving travelers will start their seven-day quarantine the day after obtaining a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) result upon arrival, Chen said during a CECC briefing.

The government will provide travelers with two rapid tests, one of which is to be taken on the last day of quarantine and the other only if they develop symptoms during the quarantine period, he said.

4/28 Taiwan to maintain current mask mandate through May

Taipei, April 26 (CNA) Taiwan will maintain its existing mask mandate through the month of May as COVID-19 cases are expected to continue rising, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Wednesday.

The current mask mandate requires people to wear a mask at all times when they are outside of their homes, though there are many exceptions that will be kept despite the rising caseload.

People are currently exempt from wearing masks when eating or participating in water-related activities, when in outdoor spaces with very few people, such as forests and fields, or when exercising indoors or outdoors, taking individual or group photos indoors or outdoors, or driving alone or with family members in a car.

People will also still be allowed to eat on trains, intercity buses, ferries, and on domestic flights, while food sampling will continue to be permitted at markets, the CECC said.

Masks will remain mandatory while singing karaoke, and individuals attending banquets will continue to be banned from going from table to table and toasting guests, according to the CECC.

Simplified contact tracing

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at Wednesday's CECC press briefing that the main changes in Taiwan's COVID-19 rules for May are the simplification in contact tracing procedures and the shortening of quarantine periods for contacts of people confirmed to have COVID-19.

Those two measures were introduced on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Another change, to take effect Wednesday, will be the elimination of the text message-based service launched by the government for people to leave their contact information when entering a public venue.

The service no longer provides much benefit as contact tracing has now been limited to include only a person's close contacts, Chen said.

Chen urged people to instead use the Taiwan Social Distancing app (Google Android / Apple iOS), which uses bluetooth technology to alert users if they have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Taiwan relaxes domestic COVID-19 restrictions, discards alert levels

Taipei, Feb. 24 (CNA) Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday announced that several COVID-19 measures, including its mask mandate, will be relaxed from March 1, and the national COVID-19 alert level system will no longer be used.

Instead, Taiwan will adopt a new COVID-19 prevention model that gives greater consideration to economic factors, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press briefing.

Under the new model, the CECC will discard the four-level COVID-19 alert system that it first adopted in January 2021 and instead will adjust Taiwan's disease prevention measures on a monthly basis when the current Level 2 alert expires on Feb. 28, Chen said.

For the month of March, several disease prevention measures will be relaxed, including a mask mandate, a ban on eating on public transport, a restriction on visiting hospital patients and care home residents, and the COVID-19 testing requirement for travelers to Taiwan's offshore counties, Chen said.

 

Rules on masks, eating on public transport

Currently, people are required to wear a mask at all times outside their homes, except when eating, participating in water-related activities, or if they are in a wide outdoor space such as a forest or field.

From March 1, the mask exemption will extend to persons driving alone or with other family members in a private vehicle, exercising indoors or outdoors, or taking individual or group photos indoors or outdoors, according to a CECC statement released Thursday.

People participating in activities such as live streaming, filming, moderating at an event, news reporting, giving a speech, and lecturing will also not be required to wear a mask, the CECC said.

The current ban on eating on trains, intercity buses, ferries, and domestic flights will also be lifted, while the sampling of food at markets will again be allowed, the CECC said.

 

The figures do not include imported cases reclassified as domestic ones, nor retroactively removed cases. As of Feb. 24, Taiwan recorded 798 domestic and 2,406 imported COVID-19 cases in 2022.

 

Visits to hospitals, care facilities

Since January, the CECC has imposed a ban on visits to hospital patients and long-term care facility residents, except under special circumstances and with the approval of those institutions.

Beginning March 1, the ban on hospital visits will be partially lifted across the country, and visits to care home residents will be unrestricted, except in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, and Kaohsiung cities, the CECC said.

Visits to hospital patients and care home residents in those four cities will still be restricted to special circumstances and will require the approval of the institutions, it said.

In the rest of the country, the new regulations will allow visits to hospital patients in intensive care units and those on hospice, respiratory care, psychiatric, children's, and long-term care wards, the CECC said.

The number of visitors will be limited to two per patient at the same time in hospitals, and three in care facilities, the CECC said.

The current COVID-19 test requirements for visitors to those institutions will be dropped, if the visitor has received three doses of a vaccine against the disease, with the third shot administered at least two weeks before the visit, the CECC said. Visitors who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the three months prior to the visit will also be exempt from the COVID-19 test, it added.

All other visitors to a hospital patient or care facility resident will still be required to present a negative COVID-19 test -- either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or rapid antigen -- taken within three days of the visit, the CECC said.

 

1. More doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered in Taiwan than the government has officially received because recipients of the Moderna booster shot are given half the standard dose of the first and second jab. 2. Information about the booster dose and additional dose can be found at t.ly/4ZuW

 

Testing of travelers to offshore counties

Meanwhile, effective March 1, travelers to Taiwan's offshore counties will no longer be required to take a COVID-19 rapid test, as the domestic COVID-19 situation has stabilized, the CECC said.

In the period Jan. 29 to Feb. 23, some 3,103 people traveled from Taiwan's main island to its offshore counties, and 906 of them were tested under the current regulations, the CECC said, adding that all of those tests were negative.

The testing rule was implemented on Jan. 29, mandating that travelers who had developed COVID-19 symptoms in the 14-day period before their flight from Taiwan proper to its outlying islands must be tested before their departure.

CECC to lower epidemic alert level to Level 2 from July 27 to August 9; CECC urges public to continue following epidemic prevention and control measures to protect health of people in Taiwan

2021.07.26

On July 23, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that it will lower the epidemic alert to Level 2, effective from July 27 to August 9, and that ministries and councils/commissions under the Executive Yuan may issue respective guidelines in accordance with the CECC's general principles; in line with the CECC's general guidelines, local governments may also make appropriate adjustments to epidemic prevention rules based on the COVID-19 situation in the respective city or county.

Related details are listed below.
A. General principles:
1. Masks must be worn at all times when outside except when consuming food and beverages.
2. Contact information registration measures must be implemented rigorously.
3. Social distancing must be maintained.
4. Crowd control or capacity limit management at commercial business venues and public venues: a distance of at least 1.5 meters per person (2.25 square meters per person) is required indoors and a distance of 1 meter per person (1 square meters per person) is required outdoors.
5. Limit on the number of people in gatherings: 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. An epidemic prevention and control plan is required if the number of people in a gathering exceeds the limit.
6. Places with dine-in services shall follow the Ministry of Health and Welfare regulations.
B. Wedding banquets and public memorial services are allowed.
1. Public memorial services shall abide by epidemic prevention and control regulations issued by the Ministry of Interior.
2. Every partitioned-off area at a wedding banquet must abide by the epidemic prevention rule of 50 or fewer people indoors and 100 or fewer people outdoors; guests must follow guidelines on dining, and toasting each table is not allowed .
C. Venues that remain closed under the Level 2 epidemic alert:
1. Leisure and entertainment venues: singing and dance venues, nightclubs, bars and clubs, KTVs, MTVs, beauty parlors (tourist parlors and audio-video parlors), arcades, video game arcades, Internet cafes, majiang clubs, board game cafes, and other similar venues.
2. Educational facilities and venues: community colleges (registration for fall term classes is open, but in-person classes are suspended), senior learning centers, study centers, swimming pools, and other similar venues.

 

 

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