Border controls tightened after UK COVID strain reaches Taiwan

Taiwan has reported its first case of a new, highly contagious COVID variant that was first identified in the U.K. recently. The case involves a Taiwanese teenager who returned from London last Sunday. In the wake of his diagnosis, officials have announced a sweeping new travel ban. Starting New Year”s Day, the borders will be closed to everyone except Taiwan nationals and their immediate family, ARC holders, and those on diplomatic or official business.

Last Sunday, a Taiwanese teenager developed a fever after returning to Taiwan from London. He was diagnosed with COVID the following day. On Wednesday, the Central Epidemic Command Center confirmed the teenager had been infected by a new coronavirus strain from the U.K.

Chen Shih-chung
Central Epidemic Command Center
The patient who had a fever after returning from the U.K. was diagnosed in the hospital. After compared the coronavirus’s genetic sequence, the Taiwan CDC can officially announce that it is the U.K. strain. So that makes this the first case to reach Taiwan. The appropriate public health measures were in place on the plane, all the way to the hospital and during testing.

As the new strain has reached many countries besides Taiwan, the CECC is tightening border controls.

Chen Shih-chung
Central Epidemic Command Center
Starting Jan. 1, non-Taiwan nationals will not be able to enter Taiwan. Exceptions to this include ARC holders, people entering for special reasons such as business contracts or diplomatic affairs, and the spouses and underage children of Taiwan nationals.

Quarantine rules for returnees have also been tightened.

Chen Shih-chung
Central Epidemic Command Center
From Jan. 15, Taiwanese nationals will be subject to more regulations than at present. We’ve tightened regulations on home quarantine. We hope that most people will go to quarantine hotels and government quarantine centers. But those who chose home quarantine will be required to have the space to themselves. If the returnees had lived together before anyway, they can stay together. But they may not live with anyone who was already in Taiwan.

The pandemic is stoking uncertainties, but it’s not all bad news. All contacts of a recent airline cluster infection have tested negative for COVID, temporarily easing concerns over community spread.

4 Replies to “Border controls tightened after UK COVID strain reaches Taiwan”

  1. Bryn Parrott

    The burning question is whether this new strain is blocked by the new vaccines ? And by the way when does Taiwan rollout of cv19 vaccines begin?

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