Taiwan prolongs 25,000 weekly passenger quota indefinitely

Despite steadily decreasing COVID case counts, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (July 4) announced that its 25,000 per week cap on passengers entering the country and “3 + 4” quarantine will remain in place indefinitely.,During a press conference on Monday, CECC Spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang was asked when the weekly quota on arriving passengers would be raised to 40,000 and if the “0 + 7” quarantine policy would begin before the end of the month. Chuang responded by saying the Cabinet held an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss the subject, but given the overall situation, the decision was made to maintain the limit of 25,000 visits per week.,Chuang explained the main reason for the decision is the global pandemic has heated up again and cases rebounded by 21% last week. Chuang speculated the possible cause of the surge in cases could be that the summer tourism season has gone into full swing.,At the same time, Chuang pointed out that cases of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron in other countries have also continued to increase. In addition, Chuang said that the number of incoming passengers testing positive for these two subvariants has grown.,Chuang emphasized that because summer vacation is underway in Taiwan, the frequency of domestic and foreign travel and gatherings has increased. Therefore, the border control measures are being kept in place, and any policy changes will be based on developments with the pandemic and the capacity of domestic medical care, said Chuang.,Regarding whether the current quarantine scheme would be changed before the end of the month, Chuang said he could not rule it out. He said that weekly meetings will be held to discuss any changes to the quarantine policy and appropriate adjustments will be made.,As to whether the quarantine will be shortened from “3 + 4” to “0 + 7,” Chuang said it depends on the overall situation with the pandemic. He noted that neighboring countries have waited until their local outbreaks reach a low point before relaxing their border restrictions.,Chuang stressed that on June 15, when daily cases were over 68,000, the CECC raised the quota for weekly arrivals from 18,000 to 25,000. Less than three weeks later, this adjustment is still being evaluated, said Chuang. (Story courtesy of Taiwan News)