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Taiwan plans to end quarantine requirement for arrivals

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Taipei, Taiwan (AP) – The Central Epidemic Command Center said Thursday that Taiwan is considering ending quarantine requirements for all arrivals in mid-October.

The island was one of the few places in the world to keep all arrivals in quarantine for the duration of the pandemic. In recent months, it has steadily reduced its previous two-week quarantine.

CECC officials responsible for the epidemic response announced that they plan to end the quarantine and change it to seven days of self-health monitoring. But the change depends on the state of the epidemic in Taiwan over the next week.

The expected date for the end of the quarantine is October 13.

Taiwan has announced that from September 12, citizens of Canada, the United States and countries in Europe that previously had visa-free access can visit Taiwan again without visas.

Under the new scheme, entrants will still have to stay in a place with a separate bathroom for each person, and express checks will be provided upon arrival.

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Currently, arrivals are allowed to self-quarantine at home, and are required to do so for a period of three days starting after the day of their arrival. They must then follow up with four days of self-management of health, which means they must continue to monitor their temperature and not go to restaurants.

Elsewhere, local media also reported that Hong Kong has plans to end the mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals in October, although authorities have not officially announced such measures.

The city, which was once among the world’s longest quarantined 21 days ago, has eased its measures and is currently requiring travelers to isolate them in a hotel for three days. Hong Kong leader John Lee has repeatedly stressed the need to strike a balance in controlling the spread of COVID-19 while minimizing the inconvenience of travel.

China, which has different quarantine requirements than Hong Kong, still requires 10 days of quarantine for arrivals.

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Associated Press video reporting was contributed by Johnson Lai in Taipei and writer Zhen Su in Hong Kong.

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