TAIPEI, Taiwan: Premier Su Tseng-chang has announced that Taiwan plans to end its mandatory COVID-19 quarantine for all arrivals to the country.
Despite many Asian countries relaxing their COVID-19 restrictions or lifting them completely, Taiwan has kept its entry and quarantine rules in place, but in June it cut the number of quarantine days for arrivals from seven to three.
With more than 99 percent of those contracting COVID in the country showing no or only mild symptoms, the government has relaxed restrictions under its "new Taiwan model."
Although cases are currently increasing, this trend is in line with expectations, Su stressed.
"We are also preparing for a steady opening up with all ministries and departments. If, during the next two weeks, it can be monitored and predictions are as we first had them, if cases gradually rise and then slow down, then we can open up earlier," he said.
This week, Chuang Jen-hsiang, Deputy Director-General of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, said that the quarantine rule could be fully lifted next month.
Taiwan has begun resuming visa free entry for visitors from some countries, including the U.S. and Canada, but a PCR test upon arrival is still required, and the current cap on 50,000 arrivals per week will continue to be enforced.
Taiwanese citizens and foreign residents have never been prohibited from leaving and then re-entering during the pandemic, but they were required to quarantine at home or in hotels.
Taiwan was a popular tourist destination for mainly Asian visitors, especially from Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, before the pandemic.